Subchapter D. COMMERCIAL FISHING, SEASONS AND NETS


Sec.


69.31.    Seasons.
69.32.    [Reserved].
69.33.    Use of commercial trap nets.
69.34.    [Reserved].
69.35.    Use of commercial seines.
69.36.    [Reserved].
69.37.    Prohibited acts.
69.38.    Clearing of nets.
69.39.    Landing of catch.

Cross References

   This subchapter cited in 58 Pa. Code §  69.1 (relating to statutory authority).

§ 69.31. Seasons.

 (a)  Commercial fishing in Pennsylvania waters of Lake Erie is permitted throughout the year. After December 31 and before June 1, commercial fishing may be limited by the Executive Director to fishing days as he deems necessary and appropriate to provide for the better protection and management of fish. It is unlawful to fish commercially or with a device subject to licensing under this chapter and section 2903 of the code (relating to boat and net licenses for boundary lakes) in the Pennsylvania waters of Lake Erie—including setting and lifting of nets or other activities—on days when the Executive Director restricts such fishing after December 31 and before June 1.

 (b)  The commercial fishing season for walleye is January 1 to March 14 and 12:01 a.m. the first Saturday in May to December 31. This season will close on the date established by the Executive Director as marking the probable attainment of the total allowable catch for walleye for that year. The total allowable catch for walleye for any year will be determined by the Executive Director and announced annually on or before April 15. After the announcement, the Executive Director may, from time to time, revise the total allowable catch for that year if he determines that conditions so warrant. The Executive Director or a designee will monitor monthly, weekly and daily reports of catch of walleye and will declare the season to be closed on a date the Director determines will probably mark attainment of the total allowable catch. It is unlawful for a person fishing under a commercial fishing license or with a device subject to licensing under section 2902 of the code (relating to net permits) to take, catch or attempt to catch walleye except during the walleye season established under this subsection. Walleye accidentally caught out of season shall be immediately returned to the waters from which it was taken regardless of its condition and reported within 2 business days to the Commission at the address where commercial catch reports are filed.

 (c)  The commercial fishing season for yellow perch is January 1 until the date established by the Executive Director as marking the probable attainment of the total allowable catch for yellow perch for that year. The total allowable catch for yellow perch for any year will be determined by the Executive Director and announced on or before April 15. After the announcement, the Executive Director may revise the total allowable catch for that year if he determines that conditions so warrant. The Executive Director or his designee will monitor the monthly, weekly and daily reports of catch of yellow perch and will declare the season to be closed on the date the Director determines will probably mark attainment of the total allowable catch. It is unlawful for any person fishing under a commercial fishing license or with a device subject to licensing under section 2902 of the code, to take, catch, or attempt to catch yellow perch except during the yellow perch season established under this subsection. Yellow perch accidentally caught out of season shall be immediately returned to the waters from which it was taken regardless of its condition and reported within 2 business days to the Commission at the address where commercial catch reports are filed.

Authority

   The provisions of this §  69.31 issued under the Fish and Boat Code, 30 Pa.C.S. §  2903; and amended under the Fish and Boat Code, 30 Pa.C.S. 2102.

Source

   The provisions of this §  69.31 amended May 25, 1984, effective May 26, 1984, 14 Pa.B. 1805; amended March 6, 1992, effective March 7, 1992, 22 Pa.B. 949; amended February 26, 1993, effective February 27, 1993, 23 Pa.B. 942; amended April 12, 1996, effective April 13, 1996, 26 Pa.B. 1706; amended October 31, 1997, effective November 1, 1997, 27 Pa.B. 5605; amended June 15, 2001, effective January 1, 2002, 31 Pa.B. 3205; amended April 10, 2009, effective April 11, 2009, 39 Pa.B. 1860; amended October 22, 2010, effective October 23, 2010, 40 Pa.B. 6082. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (342733) to (342735).

Cross References

   This section cited in 58 Pa. Code §  69.33 (relating to use of commercial trap nets).

§ 69.32. [Reserved].


Source

   The provisions of this §  69.32 amended March 6, 1992, effective March 7, 1992, 22 Pa.B. 949; amended February 26, 1993, effective February 27, 1993, 23 Pa.B. 942; reserved April 12, 1996, effective April 13, 1996, 26 Pa.B. 1706. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (166375) to (166376).

Cross References

   This section cited in 58 Pa. Code §  69.34 (relating to use of trawl net).

§ 69.33. Use of commercial trap nets.

 (a)  Size. Trap nets, cribs and associated leads shall be constructed of twine not lighter than number 12 thread/cord. A trap net lead or lifting crib with a mesh in violation of this section, whether being fished or held in possession, shall be subject to confiscation by the Commission.

 (b)  Species. A commercial trap net licensee may not possess or sell a fish except in compliance with the following size limits and seasons. The following size limits apply to commercial trap net licensees except that 5% of each licensee’s daily catch by number per species may be undersized fish that may be lawfully sold:

Species Size Limit Season
Yellow perch  (Perca flavescens) None No closed season until the total allowable catch is taken. See §  69.31 (relating to seasons).
Walleye  (Stizostedion   vitreum) 15 inches January 1 to March 14 and May 1 to December 31. This season will close when the total allowable catch for walleye is taken. See §  69.31.
White fish  (Coregonus spp.) 17 inches No closed season
White perch  (Morone americana) No size limit No closed season
Cisco  (Coregonus spp.  except C. artedii) No size limit No closed season
White bass  (Morone chrysops) No size limit No closed season
Burbot  (Lota lota) No size limit No closed season
Sheepshead  (Aplodinotus  grunniens) No size limit No closed season
Gizzard shad  (Dorosoma   cepedianum) No size limit No closed season
Goldfish  (Carassius auratus) No size limit No closed season
Lake whitefish  (Coregonus   clupeaformis) No size limit No closed season
Brown bullhead  (Ictalurus  nebulosus) No size limit No closed season
Yellow bullhead  (Ictalurus natalis) No size limit No closed season
Rainbow smelt  (Osmerus mordax) No size limit No closed season
Channel catfish  (Ictalurus  punctatus) No size limit No closed season
Suckers  (Carpides sp.,   Catostomus sp.,   Ictiobus sp. and   Moxmostoma sp.) No size limit No closed season
Carp  (Cyprinus carpio) No size limit No closed season

 (c)  Buoys/tags. Marker buoys shall be attached to the beginning of each lead and to the back of the crib. A staff extending 8 feet above the water with a minimum size flag of 18 inches by 18 inches secured near the top shall be attached to the anchor for the beginning of the lead and a staff extending 8 feet above the water with 2 minimum size flags of 18 inches by 18 inches (double flags) shall be attached to the anchor for the crib. The licensee shall affix a metal, numbered tag provided by the Commission to each of the required staffs showing the name and address of the owner or the lessee. Licensees shall report a seal that is lost, misplaced or stolen orally within 24 hours of discovery and in writing to the Commission at Northwest Law Enforcement Region within 2 business days. Improperly marked or tagged nets shall be subject to confiscation by the Commission. Officers authorized to enforce the code and this part may mark trap nets for the purpose of determining the number of trap nets being used by a particular licensee.

 (d)  Restricted period. From January 1 through June 15, no part of a trap net may be set within 0.5 miles of Lake Erie shoreline, except between longitudes 80°00" and 80°10" where no part of a trap net may be set within 1.5 miles of the Lake Erie shoreline. From June 16 through December 31, no part of a trap net may be set within 1.5 miles of the Lake Erie shoreline.

 (e)  Restricted waters. The use of trap nets to harvest yellow perch from Lake Erie will be prohibited from an area bound on the west by the 80°00" longitudinal line and on the east at the Commonwealth/New York border (79°45'43") and on the south by the Lake Erie shoreline and on the north by the international border between the Commonwealth and Ontario, Canada.

 (f)  Time. Trap nets may be fished 24 hours a day, but it is unlawful to set or lift them during the period from 30 minutes after sunset to 30 minutes before sunrise. Trap nets may be set or fished, or both, from March 1 to November 30.

 (g)  Description of trap net.

   (1)  In the most general sense, a trap net is a compartmentalized trap, consisting of a lead, heart, tunnel and crib with wings and funnels. Fish are entrapped in the crib by swimming along a lead which directs the animal progressively through the heart, tunnel and into the crib. The netting and webbing which make up the crib shall be a single sheet external panel, subject to mesh size regulation to allow small, young fish a means of escape.

   (2)  A trap net fishing device is designed to catch fish by impoundment. Fish caught by impoundment remain alive and swimming for an extended period while confined within the trap net crib. The elements of netting, webbing and twine (thread) size (diameter) used in the construction of a trap net shall be of design and dimension that will discourage, prohibit and preclude the enmeshing and entanglement of fish in the netting of any part of the trap net device. The netting of the crib shall be constructed as a single panel or sheet of webbing. Lawful trap nets may not have liners or covers which would make the external crib webbing two or more sheets in thickness.

   (3)  As used in this chapter, the term ’’trap net’’ includes hoop nets and fyke nets.

 (h)  Setting or tending trap nets. A boat engaged in the setting or tending of trap nets shall comply with Navigation Rule 26 (United States Coast Guard) from the time the boat leaves the dock until it arrives back at the dock.

Authority

   The provisions of this §  69.33 amended under the Fish and Boat Code, 30 Pa.C.S. § §  2102 and 2903.

Source

   The provisions of this §  69.33 amended February 26, 1993, effective February 27, 1993, 23 Pa.B. 942; amended April 12, 1996, effective April 13, 1996, 26 Pa.B. 1706; amended March 7, 1997, effective March 8, 1997, 27 Pa.B. 1155; amended October 31, 1997, effective November 1, 1997, 27 Pa.B. 5605; amended June 15, 2001, effective January 1, 2002, 31 Pa.B. 3205; amended December 12, 2003, effective January 1, 2004, 33 Pa.B. 6061; amended September 9, 2005, effective January 1, 2006, 35 Pa.B. 5007; amended September 9, 2005, effective September 10, 2005, 35 Pa.B. 5008; amended April 10, 2009, effective April 11, 2009, 39 Pa.B. 1860; amended March 23, 2012, effective March 24, 2012, 42 Pa.B. 1502. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (353381) to (353382) and (342737) to (342738).

§ 69.34. [Reserved].


Source

   The provisions of this §  69.34 reserved March 7, 1997, effective March 8, 1997, 27 Pa.B. 1155. Immediately preceding text appears at serial page (213817).

§ 69.35. Use of commercial seines.

 (a)  Species. It is unlawful to use a seine for commercial fishing in Lake Erie except for the taking of emerald shiners, spottail shiners, gizzard shad and alewife. There shall be no minimum length or daily limit for legal species captured by means of seines.

 (b)  Taking shiners, gizzard shad and alewife. It is unlawful to use a seine for the purpose of taking emerald shiners, spottail shiners, gizzard shad and alewife within an area 300 feet from the mouth of any stream or within the confines of a tributary stream to Lake Erie.

 (c)  Lake Erie proper. Shore seining and seining from docks and boats with no restrictions on the size of seine used is permitted for legal species designated in subsection (a).

 (d)  Identification of seine. Each seine used shall be licensed separately and shall carry the identifying plastic tag furnished with the license.

 (e)  Sale. Emerald shiners, spottail shiners, gizzard shad or alewife caught by the holder of a seine license issued under this chapter may be sold either alive, dead or preserved by the holder of the license in the Lake Erie watershed only. It is unlawful to sell these fish in other watersheds of this Commonwealth except in accordance with §  69.3(e) (relating to transportation, introduction and sale of VHS-susceptible species of fish out of the Lake Erie watershed).

 (f)  Interference with sport anglers or boaters. It is unlawful for a holder of a seine license issued under this chapter to interfere with sport anglers or boaters.

 (g)  Interference with other holders of commercial seine license. It is unlawful for the holder of a commercial seine license to use a seine within 100 yards of another holder of a commercial seine license.

Authority

   The provisions of this section amended under the Fish and Boat Code, 30 Pa.C.S. § §  2102 and 2903.

Source

   The provisions of this §  69.35 amended March 23, 2012, effective March 24, 2012, 42 Pa.B. 1502.

§ 69.36. [Reserved].


Source

   The provisions of this §  69.36 reserved March 7, 1997, effective March 8, 1997, 27 Pa.B. 1155. Immediately preceding text appears at serial page (213818).

§ 69.37. Prohibited acts.

 (a)  It is unlawful, while fishing under a commercial fishing license, for commercial purposes, or with devices subject to licensing under this chapter and section 2903 of the code (relating to boat and net licenses for boundary lakes) to attempt to catch any species of salmon, trout—including lake trout, sauger, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, muskellunge, northern pike and longjawed cisco. Fish that are accidentally caught shall be returned immediately to the waters from which it was taken regardless of its condition and reported to the Commission.

 (b)  It is unlawful for a person other than the holder of a commercial fishing license, and the agents and employees of the holder or an officer authorized to enforce the code or this part to lift, clear or disturb a commercial net or net-marking buoy.

 (c)  It is unlawful while fishing under a commercial license or otherwise fishing with a device subject to commercial licensing to manipulate, alter or otherwise use a commercial fishing device in a way to reduce the effective mesh size of the net being fished.

 (d)  It is unlawful to fish by hook and line from a boat engaged in commercial fishing under this chapter.

Authority

   The provisions of this §  69.37 amended under the Fish and Boat Code, 30 Pa.C.S. § §  2102 and 2903.

Source

   The provisions of this §  69.37 amended March 6, 1992, effective March 7, 1992, 22 Pa.B. 949; amended March 7, 1997, effective March 8, 1997, 27 Pa.B. 1155; amended March 23, 2012, effective March 24, 2012, 42 Pa.B. 1502. Immediately preceding text appears at serial page (342739).

§ 69.38. Clearing of nets.

 Nets fished under a commercial fishing license or subject to licensing under this chapter and section 2903 of the code (relating to boat and net licenses for boundary lakes), shall be lifted and cleared of catch on a schedule as the Executive Director may establish to provide for the better protection and management of fish, except under circumstances where the Executive Director or his designee, upon a showing of good cause by the licensee, authorizes the licensee to lift and clear his nets on an alternate schedule.

§ 69.39. Landing of catch.

 (a)  Fish caught under a Commonwealth commercial fishing license will be landed in this Commonwealth. Each licensee shall notify the Commission of the location and address where the licensee proposes to land fish. It is unlawful to land fish caught under a Commonwealth commercial fishing license for fishing the Commonwealth waters of Lake Erie at any location outside this Commonwealth.

 (b)  Fish caught under a Commonwealth commercial fishing license shall be landed in this Commonwealth not later than 2 hours after sunset the same day as the net is cleared.

 (c)  Fish caught under a Commonwealth commercial fishing license may not be off-loaded onto a boat other than a boat on which they were caught.

Authority

   The provisions of this §  69.39 amended under the Fish and Boat Code, 30 Pa.C.S. § §  2102 and 2903.

Source

   The provisions of this §  69.39 amended March 7, 1997, effective March 8, 1997, 27 Pa.B. 1155; amended March 23, 2012, effective March 24, 2012, 42 Pa.B. 1502. Immediately preceding text appears at serial page (342740).



No part of the information on this site may be reproduced for profit or sold for profit.

This material has been drawn directly from the official Pennsylvania Code full text database. Due to the limitations of HTML or differences in display capabilities of different browsers, this version may differ slightly from the official printed version.