SUBSTITUTE SENATE BILL 6151
State of Washington 52nd Legislature 1992 Regular Session
By Senate Committee on Environment & Natural Resources (originally sponsored by Senators Barr, Anderson, Sutherland, Owen, Snyder, Hayner, Newhouse, Rasmussen, L. Smith, Bauer, Roach and Conner)
Read first time 02/07/92.
AN ACT Relating to harvest management of weak stocks of anadromous fish; creating new sections; providing an expiration date; and declaring an emergency.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
NEW SECTION. Sec. 1. The legislature finds that declarations by the federal government that species of anadromous fish are threatened or endangered can cause severe disruption to the economic health of the state and to a wide range of livelihoods of its citizens. Significant economic and social impacts will be incurred by the listing of a few fish stocks for which petitions have already been filed with the federal government for listing certain species as threatened or endangered.
The legislature finds that there are other species of anadromous fish in rivers and streams throughout the state in a depressed condition that have a significant potential to be petitioned for threatened or endangered status. Several of the depressed runs are in watercourses that do not have either hydroelectric or water withdrawal projects situated on them.
The legislature finds that the public has invested several hundred million dollars in the development and implementation of plans and has adopted wide-ranging regulations to protect and enhance habitat for anadromous fish and that these activities will in all likelihood continue. However, the legislature finds that there are insufficient mechanisms in place to assure that the significant current and future investment of funds by the taxpaying and ratepaying public is protected from overfishing of weak stocks in the mixed stock fishery. If an effective means is not found to protect weak stocks from overharvest, the benefits of this current investment and future investments are in serious jeopardy.
The legislature finds it to be the policy of the federal government that weak stocks be protected from being overharvested. In observance of this policy, it is in the state's interest to develop a harvest management policy that protects and strengthens weak stocks of fish while maintaining the feasibility of a viable fishery on abundant stocks.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 2. A committee shall be established to carry out a study on ways to improve harvest management to increase the returns of weak anadromous fish stocks. The committee shall be known as the committee on harvest management of anadromous fish. The committee, in consultation with other interested agencies, organizations, and the public, shall investigate and evaluate options of increasing the returns of adult spawners. The evaluation shall include but not be limited to the following:
(1) Develop a policy for the harvest of anadromous fish in mixed stock fisheries, while protecting weak stocks;
(2) Develop a policy to encourage harvest of anadromous fish in situations where stocks are segregated or otherwise identifiable and harvest of weak stocks is unlikely;
(3) Develop a policy for attainment of escapement goals;
(4) Review, evaluate, and augment the harvest management options recommended by the Northwest power planning council;
(5) Evaluate which of the alternative harvest management options allows the achievement of the spawning goal with the minimum effect on the harvest of abundant stocks; and
(6) Develop recommendations for any needed changes in laws, rules, policies, and programs to facilitate harvest management changes to increase the return of weak stock fish.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 3. (1) The committee created in section 2 of this act shall consist of the following voting members:
(a) Four members of the house of representatives, appointed by the speaker, two from each major political party;
(b) Four members of the senate, appointed by the president of the senate, two from each major political party;
(c) One individual representing the commercial fishing industry;
(d) One individual representing sports fishing interests;
(e) One individual representing the commercial charter boat industry;
(f) One individual representing Indian tribes;
(g) One member appointed by the governor to represent the department of fisheries;
(h) One member appointed by the governor to represent the department of wildlife;
(i) One individual representing hydro-based public electric utilities;
(j) One individual representing forestry interests;
(k) One individual representing irrigated agriculture;
(l) One individual representing commercial water borne commerce;
(m) One individual representing industries heavily dependent on electricity; and
(n) One individual representing public water utilities who obtain water from surface waters.
(2) The twelve individuals listed in subsection (1)(c) through (n) of this section who are not legislators shall be appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives and the president of the senate. Whenever possible, each interest group listed in subsection (1)(c) through (n) of this section shall attempt to identify one nominee as an interest group representative. Any nominations for appointments to fill positions on the committee listed in subsection (1)(c) through (n) of this section shall be submitted to either the chief clerk of the house of representatives or the secretary of the senate no later than fifteen calendar days after the effective date of this section. From the nominations, the speaker of the house of representatives and the president of the senate shall appoint people from various regions of the state. Appointments to the committee shall be completed within thirty calendar days after the effective date of this section.
(3) Members of the committee shall serve without compensation. A member representing a state agency shall be reimbursed, by his or her employing agency or office, for travel expenses in accordance with RCW 43.03.050 and 43.03.060. Members of the committee who are members of the legislature shall be reimbursed as provided in chapter 44.04 RCW. All other members of the committee shall be reimbursed by the secretary of the senate or the chief clerk of the house of representatives, or by both jointly, as provided in RCW 43.03.050 and 43.03.060.
(4) At the initial meeting of the committee, the members of the committee shall elect a chair from among themselves. The chair shall preside over the meetings of the committee. The committee may organize itself into subcommittees as necessary to carry out the study described in section 2 of this act.
(5) The committee shall hold public meetings to inform the public about the study, and to receive public comment on a draft report of its findings and recommendations.
(6) The committee shall submit its recommendations in its final report.
(7) The committee shall submit a written report of its findings and recommendations to the legislature no later than December 31, 1992. State agencies shall seriously consider the recommendations developed by the committee that can be implemented without additional legislation.
(8) The committee shall expire December 31, 1992.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 4. The committee created in section 2 of this act shall be provided staff support by the senate and the house of representatives.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 5. Sections 2 through 4 of this act shall expire June 30, 1993.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 6. For the purposes of sections 1 and 2 of this act, "anadromous fish" means those species of fish, commonly referred to as salmon and steelhead, that spend a portion of their life cycle in saltwater.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 7. 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.