WSR 97-22-055

EMERGENCY RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

FISH AND WILDLIFE

(Fisheries)

[Order 97-219--Filed October 31, 1997, 4:24 p.m., effective November 2, 1997, 12:01 a.m.]

Date of Adoption: October 31, 1997.

Purpose: Commercial fishing regulations.

Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Repealing WAC 220-47-819.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 75.08.080.

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: The scheduled purse seine and gillnet chum-directed fishery in Areas 7 and 7A is cancelled relative to Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans update of 2.5 million chum entering Johnstone Strait. This fishery is being managed according to the guidelines of the expired Pacific Salmon Treaty Chum Annex, which does not provide for directed fisheries when chum abundance is less than 3.0 million, to ensure adequate spawning escapements to the Fraser River. Reef net opening in Areas 7 and 7A is considered a minor fishery relative to chum salmon catch and provides opportunity to harvest the nontreaty allocation of chum salmon relative to agreements reached during the Pacific Marine Fisheries Council/North of Falcon preseason planning process, per preseason adopted schedule. Requirement for reef net release of chinook salmon necessary due to higher than anticipated chinook incidental harvests in this area and to protect weak chinook stocks.

The scheduled chum-directed fishery in Areas 10 and 11 is cancelled relative to inseason update estimates of chum salmon run size ranging from 67,000 to 227,000, which is 81% to 36% below preseason forecast.

Openings in Areas 7B, 8, 8A and 8D provide opportunity to harvest the nontreaty allocation of chum salmon returning to Nooksack-Samish, Skagit, and Stillaguamish-Snohomish regions of origin, per preseason adopted schedule. These openings and restrictions are consistent with agreements reached during the Pacific Fisheries Management Council - North of Falcon preseason process, and reflect the schedule adopted by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission.

Openings in Areas 12 and 12B provide opportunity to harvest the nontreaty allocation of chum salmon returning to the Hood Canal region of origin. The preseason adopted schedule is modified herein because the nontreaty fleet is approaching the regional nontreaty share of chum salmon, and would likely exceed that share with the scheduled two-day fishery. The requirement for chinook release is consistent with agreements reached during the Pacific Fisheries Management Council - North of Falcon preseason process, and reflect the schedule adopted by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission.

All other Puget Sound areas are closed to prevent overharvest of local salmon stocks.

Atlantic salmon have recently escaped from commercial net pen operations in the Puget Sound region, and removal of this nonnative species is required to reduce any possibility of adverse impacts on indigenous fishes.

An emergency exists in that there is insufficient time to promulgate permanent rules before the fish have moved from the fishing grounds.

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 2, 1997, 12:01 p.m.

October 31, 1997

Dirk Brazil

for Bern Shanks

Director

NEW SECTION

WAC 220-47-820 Puget Sound all-citizen commercial salmon fishery. Notwithstanding the provisions of Chapter 220-47 WAC, effective 12:01 a.m. Sunday November 2, 1997 until further notice, it is unlawful to take, fish for, or possess salmon for commercial purposes taken from the following Puget Sound Salmon Management and Catch Reporting Areas except in accordance with the following open periods and mesh and area restrictions:

* AREAS 7 AND 7A - Reef nets may fish from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. daily, Monday November 3, 1997 through Friday November 7, 1997. Reef nets may not retain chinook salmon.

* AREA 7B - Gillnets using 6 1/4-inch minimum mesh and purse seines using the 5-inch strip may fish from 6:00 a.m. Monday November 3 until 4:00 p.m. Friday November 7, 1997.

* AREA 8 - Purse seines using the 5-inch strip may fish from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily, Monday November 3, 1997 and Tuesday November 4, 1997. Gillnets using 6 1/4-inch minimum mesh may fish from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily, Wednesday November 5, 1997 and Thursday November 6, 1997.

* AREAS 8A AND 8D - Purse seines using the 5-inch strip may fish from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily, Monday November 3, 1997 and Tuesday November 4, 1997. Gillnets using 6 1/4-inch minimum mesh may fish from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily, Wednesday November 5, 1997 and Thursday November 6, 1997.

* AREAS 12 AND 12B - Purse seines using the 5-inch strip may fish from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday November 3, 1997. Gillnets using 6 1/4-inch minimum mesh may fish from 4:00 p.m. Monday November 3, 1997, to 8:00 a.m. Tuesday November 4, 1997.

* Areas 4B, 5, 6, 6A, 6B, 6C, 6D, 7C, 7D, 7E, 9, 9A, 10, 10A, 10C, 10D, 10E, 10F, 10G, 11, 11A, 12A, 12C, 12D, 13, 13A, 13C, 13D, 13E, 13F, 13G, 13H, 13I, 13J, and 13K, all freshwater areas, and exclusion zones provided for in WAC 220-47-307 - Closed.

* It is unlawful to retain chinook salmon taken with purse seine gear in Areas 7B, 8, 8A, 8D, 12 or 12B. It is unlawful to retain coho salmon taken with purse seine gear in Area 8A.

* Atlantic salmon may be retained during openings listed in this section.

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REPEALER

The following section of the Washington Administrative Code is repealed effective 12:01 a.m. Sunday November 2, 1997:

WAC 220-47-819 Puget Sound all-citizen commercial salmon fishery. (97-216)

Legislature Code Reviser

Register

Washington State Code Reviser's Office