| Supplemental environmental assessment (SEA) on the issuance of two modifications to scientific research permits (file nos. 14759 and 16375) to the North Carolina Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit to conduct research on shortnose sturgeon and Atlantic sturgeon : a supplement to the 2010 EA entitled "Environmental assessment on the effects of the issuance of a scientific research permit (file no. 14759) to conduct scientific research on shortnose sturgeon in North Carolina rivers;" and a supplement to the 2012 EA entitled "Environmental assessment for the issuance of 12 scientific research permits for research on Atlantic sturgeon (file no. 16375)" - :4747 | National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) | National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
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Supplemental environmental assessment (SEA) on the issuance of two modifications to scientific research permits (file nos. 14759 and 16375) to the North Carolina Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit to conduct research on shortnose sturgeon and Atlantic sturgeon : a supplement to the 2010 EA entitled "Environmental assessment on the effects of the issuance of a scientific research permit (file no. 14759) to conduct scientific research on shortnose sturgeon in North Carolina rivers;" and a supplement to the 2012 EA entitled "Environmental assessment for the issuance of 12 scientific research permits for research on Atlantic sturgeon (file no. 16375)"
  • Published Date:
    2013
Filetype[PDF-2.55 MB]


Details:
  • Personal Authors:
  • Corporate Authors:
    United States, National Marine Fisheries Service., Office of Protected Resources. ; United States, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration., Office of Program Planning and Integration, ;
  • Description:
    The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) proposes to issue modifications to two research permits held by the North Carolina Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit [hereinafter "Permit Holder" and Joseph Hightower, Ph.D., Responsible Party/Principal Investigator: North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695] for takes of shortnose sturgeon (Acipenser brevirostrum) (File No. 14759-01) and for takes of Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus oxyrinchus) (File No. 16375-01) in the wild, pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). The research objectives for both permits would remain unchanged: to collect data on the biology, distribution and abundance of endangered shortnose sturgeon and Atlantic sturgeon to facilitate recovery of the respective species. In Permit No. 14759, the Permit Holder is currently authorized to capture with gill net, measure, weigh, genetic tissue sample, PIT tag and Floy tag up to 15 shortnose sturgeon annually from the Chowan and Cape Fear River Basins and Albemarle Sound. Additionally, the Permit Holder is authorized to capture and sample up to 25 shortnose sturgeon per year from the Roanoke River Basin. Annually, a sub- set of up to five sub-adults or adults from each of the river basins and Albemarle Sound can also be anesthetized and surgically implanted with internal sonic transmitters annually. In Permit No. 16375, the Permit Holder is authorized to capture with gill nets measure, weigh, genetic tissue sample, PIT and Floy tag up to 200 Atlantic sturgeon annually from the same locations authorized in Permit No. 14759. Further, a sub-set of up to ninety juvenile, sub-adult or adult Atlantic sturgeon may be annually implanted with acoustic transmitter tags within the Albemarle Sound, and Roanoke, Chowan and Cape Fear River Basins, with no more than 45 tagged in each the Cape Fear River system or the combined area for the Albemarle Sound, Roanoke River and Chowan River. The applicant now requests authorization to verify spawning activity shortnose and Atlantic sturgeon by deploying artificial egg mats downstream of suspected spawning areas to take up to 50 early life stages (ELS) of each species annually from both the Roanoke River and Cape Fear River (total of 200 ELS). The expanded action area for each species up to the first impassible dam on the Roanoke River (rkm 221) and on the Cape Fear (rkm 300), will also be a part of the permit modification. All other currently authorized takes, methods and activities would remain the same for each permit. The modifications would be valid through the expiration dates of the original Permit No. 14759 (August 19, 2015) and Permit No. 16375 (April 5, 2017).

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