S-0005.2/91       _______________________________________________


                                 SENATE BILL 5229



State of Washington              52nd Legislature             1991 Regular Session


By Senators Owen and Oke.


Read first time January 24, 1991.  Referred to Committee on Environment & Natural Resources.Imposing a conservation closure on the cod fishery in certain marine waters in Puget Sound.

     AN ACT Relating to Pacific cod; adding new sections to Title 75 RCW; and declaring an emergency.




     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.  The legislature recognizes that the Puget Sound stocks of Pacific cod (Gadus macrocephalus) are severely depressed and that a conservation closure is necessary to prevent the elimination of the species in Puget Sound.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2.  (1) The director shall establish a Pacific cod spawning zone closure in Agate Pass at the north end of Bainbridge Island and shall prevent fishing by recreational and commercial fishers in that zone from January 1 to March 31 of each year for a period of five years from the effective date of this act.

     (2) It is unlawful to retain Pacific cod in personal use or commercial catches within the waters of Puget Sound south of a line projected from Point Wilson to Admiralty Head, and within all marine waters east of Whidbey and Camano Islands, for a period of five years from the effective date of this act.  Commercial fishing for Pacific cod is prohibited in marine waters east of Port Angeles.  A person violating this subsection is subject to the penalty under RCW 75.10.110.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3.  The director shall work with the national marine fisheries service to seek control of sea mammals that are predators of Pacific cod in Puget Sound.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 4.  The director shall assess the population levels of walleye pollack, ling cod, and other Puget Sound marine fish species that could be endangered and propose conservation measures that will assure a healthy population of those species for future generations of fishers.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 5.  Sections 1 through 4 of this act are each added to Title 75 RCW.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 6.  This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and shall take effect immediately.