WSR 97-22-021

EMERGENCY RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

FISH AND WILDLIFE

(Wildlife)

[Order 97-218--Filed October 29, 1997, 8:01 a.m., effective November 1, 1997, 12:01 a.m.]

Date of Adoption: October 28, 1997.

Purpose: Personal use rules.

Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Repealing WAC 232-28-61900R; and amending WAC 232-28-619.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 77.12.040.

Under RCW 34.05.350 the agency for good cause finds that immediate adoption, amendment, or repeal of a rule is necessary for the preservation of the public health, safety, or general welfare, and that observing the time requirements of notice and opportunity to comment upon adoption of a permanent rule would be contrary to the public interest.

Reasons for this Finding: On August 11, 1997, NMFS announced that steelhead originating within the Upper Columbia Evolutionary Significant Unit (ESU) would be listed as endangered. The date this action took effect was October 17, 1997. With an endangered listing, ESA mandates closures on fishing activities that target or may cause incidental mortality on the species and stocks of concern. The boundaries to the Upper Columbia start immediately upstream of the mouth of the Yakima River up to Chief Joseph Dam, and incorporating all tributaries within this region.

On the mainstem within this reach, both steelhead and trout were closed since there is no resident trout population and trout are not planted in these waters. For the tributaries, all fishing will be closed to prevent incidental hooking mortality on steelhead in these waters. The majority of the winter time effort in these streams is primarily directed on steelhead. Trout fisheries are essentially nonexistent during the winter months.

Changes in these regulations will take effect November 1, 1997, in an effort to take a conservative approach and minimize impacts during the 1997-98 season and be in compliance with ESA.

The game fish closure in the East Fork Lewis River is necessary to protect very low numbers of wild summer steelhead. Very few hatchery fish are present in the closed area to justify continued fishing for hatchery steelhead. Wild escapement of summer steelhead is projected to be less than twenty percent of the escapement goal.

Selective fishery regulations are necessary for the Kalama River to protect very low numbers of wild summer steelhead, while maintaining harvest of hatchery steelhead. Wild escapement of summer steelhead is projected to be less than twenty percent of goal. There is insufficient time to promulgate permanent rules.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's own Initiative: New 1, amended 0, repealed 1.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0.

Effective Date of Rule: November 1, 1997, 12:01 a.m.

October 28, 1997

Bern Shanks

Director

NEW SECTION

WAC 232-28-61900W 1997-1998 Washington game fish seasons and catch limits -- Columbia River from Highway 395 at Pasco to Chief Joseph Dam, Wenatchee River, Icicle River (Creek), Entiat River, Methow River, Twisp River, Okanogan River, Similkameen River, Lewis River (East Fork), Kalama River. Notwithstanding the provisions of WAC 232-28-619, effective 12:01 a.m. November 1, 1997, the following regulations apply:

Columbia River -- From Highway 395 at Pasco to Chief Joseph Dam. Closed to the fishing for trout and steelhead, 12:01 a.m. November 1, 1997 until further notice.

Wenatchee River -- From the mouth to Lake Wenatchee. Closed to all fishing, 12:01 a.m. November 1, 1997 until further notice.

Icicle River (Creek) -- From the mouth to Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery Rack. Closed to all fishing, 12:01 a.m. November 1, 1997 until further notice.

Entiat River -- From the mouth (Hwy. 97 Bridge) to Fox Creek. Closed to all fishing, 12:01 a.m. November 1, 1997 until further notice.

Methow River -- From the mouth (Hwy. 97 Bridge) to Lost River. Closed to all fishing, 12:01 a.m. November 1, 1997 until further notice.

Okanogan River -- From the mouth to highway bridge at Malott. Closed to the fishing for trout and steelhead, 12:01 a.m. November 1, 1997 until further notice.

Okanogan River -- From the highway bridge at Malott to Osoyoos Lake. Closed to all fishing, 12:01 a.m. November 1, 1997 until further notice.

Similkameen River -- From the mouth to Enloe Dam. Closed to all fishing, 12:01 a.m. November 1, 1997 until further notice.

Lewis River (East Fork) -- From 100 feet above Sunset Falls upstream. Closed to the fishing for game fish 12:01 a.m. November 1, 1997 until further notice.

Kalama River -- From 1000 feet above fishway at upper Salmon Hatchery to Summers Creek, selective fishery regulations are in effect for all species.

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REPEALER

The following section of the Washington Administrative Code is repealed effective 12:01 a.m. November 1, 1997:

WAC 232-28-61900R 1997-1998 Washington game fish seasons and catch limits -- Columbia River from Highway 395 at Pasco to Chief Joseph Dam, Wenatchee River, Icicle River (Creek), Chiwawa River, Nason Creek, Little Wenatchee River, White River, Entiat River, Methow River, Chewuch River, Twisp River, Okanogan River, Similkameen River, Lewis River (East Fork), Kalama River. (97-194)

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