WSR 97-22-098

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

FISH AND WILDLIFE

(Wildlife)

[Filed November 5, 1997, 8:46 a.m.]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 97-19-027.

Title of Rule: To adopt WAC 232-28-515 Trapping seasons and regulations and amend WAC 232-12-141 Wildlife animal trapping.

Purpose: To amend WAC 232-12-141 to modify the trap types, and trap check times associated with furbearer trapping regulations and to adopt WAC 232-28-515 Trapping seasons and regulations for 1997-99.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 77.12.040.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 77.12.040.

Summary: Trapping is an essential wildlife management tool that is benefitting from technological improvements and changes in social values related to animal welfare. The WAC amendment requires the use of padded foot-hold traps or laminated jaw foot-hold traps in all land sets not capable of killing the animal, and reduces the trap-check time for nonkilling sets from 72 hours to 48 hours.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: The amendments are consistent with animal trap research indicating that padded foot-hold traps and laminated jaw traps can reduce trap related injury and increase the welfare of land trapped species. Continued, regulated use of foot-hold traps will allow efficient nuisance and damage trapping seasons consistent with wildlife management, and animal welfare goals.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting and Implementation: Dave Brittell, Assistant Director, Wildlife Management, Olympia, (360) 902-2504; and Enforcement: Ron Swatfigure, Assistant Director, Enforcement, Olympia, (360) 902-2932.

Name of Proponent: Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission, governmental.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: See Purpose and Summary above. Adoption of trapping seasons and regulations that address animal welfare issues is essential to maintaining the use of trapping as a wildlife management tool. Expected benefits include the continuation of recreational trapping seasons, which provide significant nuisance and damage relief from certain species of wildlife (e.g., coyotes, beaver, river otter).

Proposal does not change existing rules. See above.

A small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW.

Small Business Economic Impact Statement


1. Description of reporting, recordkeeping and other compliance measures required by proposal: Trappers must complete and/or pass the trapper education program prior to obtaining their first Washington trapper's license. Trappers must have their name and address affixed to their traps (A trapper ID number may also be assigned and used by the trapper), and must submit a trappers report of catch at the end of each trapping season. None of these requirements are affected by this proposal.

2. Professional services required for compliance: The services of a welder may be required to modify foot-hold traps so that they meet the minimum one-quarter inch jaw face requirement.

3. Costs of compliance, including costs of equipment, supplies, labor and increased administrative costs: (Calculated for an upgrade to a laminated jaw trap, not for purchasing padded jaw traps).

Current Number of Licensed Trappers

(1997): = 700

Estimated Number of Trappers for

Coyote, and Bobcat: 40% of 700 = 280

Estimated Number of Coyote and Bobcat

Trappers Not Having Trapping Equip-

ment That Would Comply with Require-

ment: 50% of 280 = 140

Average Number of Coyote/Bobcat

Foot-hold Traps Owned by a Trapper: = 24

Average Cost of Modifying a Foot-hold

Trap for Compliance (i.e., base plate,

and one-quarter inch jaw face, including

welding): Per Trap = $4

Cost of Compliance for all Coyote/Bobcat

Trappers:

140 Trappers x 24 Traps x $4.00 = $13,440

Cost of Compliance to Individual Trapper:

1 Trapper x 24 Traps x $4.00 = $96

4. Will compliance cause businesses (i.e., trapping supply businesses or individual trappers) to lose sales or revenue? No. Some increase in sales will occur for the few trap supply businesses operating in Washington as trappers seek to modify their existing traps, or purchase new laminated or padded jaw traps. Total coyote and bobcat harvest is not expected to decrease, therefore individual trapper revenue from the sale of coyote and bobcat pelts will not be impacted.

5. Comparison of costs for the 10% of businesses that are the largest businesses required to comply with the proposed rule: No additional costs anticipated; potential increased revenue for trapping supply businesses.

6. Steps taken by agency to reduce the costs of the rule on small businesses (including individual trapper):

(a) The rule is being proposed for adoption a year prior to the effective date. This will allow trappers an opportunity to modify and/ or purchase new traps over the course of the next year.

(b) The rule requires the use of laminated jaw, or padded jaw foot-hold traps when set on dry land and on public property. Allowing either laminated jaw or padded jaw traps provides a compliance option to trappers (laminated jaw modifications are less expensive than padded jaw modifications/purchase).

7. Description of how the agency has involved small businesses in the development of the rule: The proposed rule has been developed and coordinated with the Washington State Trapper's Association. During the 1997 and 1998 trapping season, Washington trappers will work in cooperation with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to collect additional data on trap damage to coyotes as related to laminated and padded jaw traps. Additional trap testing will allow for future modifications to trapping equipment based on field results obtained in Washington.

8. List of industries required to comply with this rule: Licensed trappers and nuisance wildlife control operators in Washington.

A copy of the statement may be obtained by writing to Dave Brittell, Wildlife Management Program, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091, phone (360) 902-2504, or FAX (360) 902-2162.

Section 201, chapter 403, Laws of 1995, does not apply to this rule adoption.

Hearing Location: Red Lion Inn, North 1100 Sullivan Road, Spokane, WA 99220, phone (509) 924-9000, on December 12-13, 1997, at 8:00 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Debbie Nelson by November 30, 1997, TDD (360) 902-2207, or (360) 902-2267.

Submit Written Comments to: Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Evan Jacoby, 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091, FAX (360) 902-2940, by November 30, 1997.

Date of Intended Adoption: December 13, 1997.

November 5, 1997

Evan Jacoby

Rules Coordinator

AMENDATORY SECTION [(Amending Order 563, filed 9/2/92, effective 10/3/92)]

WAC 232-12-141 Wild animal trapping. (1) The trapping season authorizes the taking of furbearing animals for their hides and pelts only. Furbearers may not be taken from the wild and held alive for sale or personal use without a special permit pursuant to WAC 232-12-064.

(2) Any wildlife trapped for which the season is not open shall be released unharmed. Any wildlife that cannot be released unharmed must be left in the trap, and the department of fish and wildlife must be notified immediately.

(3) Lawfully trapped furbearers must be lethally dispatched or immediately released. A firearm may be used for this purpose.

(4) It is unlawful to trap for wild animals:

(a) By any means other than padded foot-hold traps having a minimum rubber pad thickness of one-eighth inch, unpadded foot-hold traps, cage (live) traps, ((instant-))kill traps and snares.

(b) With an unpadded foot-hold trap, unless the trap has jaws with a minimum jaw face width of one-fourth inch, or the trap is set so that it completely submerses and drowns any trapped animal, except that unpadded foot-hold traps not meeting the one-fourth inch jaw face requirement may be used on non-drowning sets on private property with landowner permission for the purpose of protecting livestock, domestic animals, private property, or public safety.

(((b))) (c) With a steel trap having a jaw spread exceeding seven and one-half inches, except that a ((an instant)) kill trap having a jaw spread exceeding seven and one-half inches is lawful when set with the pivot point of the springs beneath the water surface.

(((c))) (d) On dry land, with a non-drowning set ((W))with a No. 3 size or larger unpadded foot-hold ((steel)) trap if it does not have jaw spacing of at least three-sixteenth of one inch when the trap is sprung, ((and when the set is not capable of drowning the trapped animal[.]))

(((d))) (e) With a ((No. 3 size or larger)) steel trap with teeth or serrated edges. ((when the set is not capable of drowning the trapped animal.))

(f) Unless kill traps, including foot-hold drowning sets, are checked and animals removed within seventy-two hours.

(((e))) (g) Unless traps ((or devices)) not capable of killing the animal are checked and animals removed within ((seventy-two)) forty-eight hours, except within identified urban trapping areas, where ((the)) sets ((is)) not capable of ((drowning)) killing the animal, ((traps or devices)) must be checked and animals removed within ((forty-eight)) twenty-four hours.

(((f))) (h) With a neck or body snare attached to a spring pole or any spring pole type of device.

(((g))) (i) Within thirty feet of any exposed meat bait which is visible to flying raptors.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 77.12.040. 92-18-083 (Order 563), 232-12-141, filed 9/2/92, effective 10/3/92; 90-19-097 (Order 460), 232-12-141, filed 9/19/90, effective 10/20/90; 87-15-082 (Order 293), 232-12-141, filed 7/20/87; 81-12-029 (Order , 232-12-141, filed 6/1/81. Formerly WAC 232-12-310.]

NOTES:

Reviser's note: RCW 34.05.395 requires the use of underlining and deletion marks to indicate amendments to existing rules, and deems ineffectual changes not filed by the agency in this manner. The bracketed material in the above section does not appear to conform to the statutory requirement.

Reviser's note: The bracketed material preceding the section above was supplied by the code reviser's office.

Reviser's note: RCW 34.05.395 requires the use of underlining and deletion marks to indicate amendments to existing rules. The rule published above varies from its predecessor in certain respects not indicated by the use of these markings.

NEW SECTION

WAC 232-28-515 1997-98, 1998-99, 1999-2000 Trapping seasons and regulations Trapping Regulations

To be issued your first Washington State trapping license an individual must pass the Washington State trapper education exam.

A trapping license will only be issued to a trapper that has returned the mandatory trapper report of catch postmarked on or before April 10 of the previous year. A trapper that fails to submit a report of catch must wait one year before purchasing another trapping license. False reports will be considered the same as failure to return the catch report.

It is unlawful to: Trap for wild animals before October 1, and after March 15, in western Washington, except that owners of, or persons legally controlling a property (or their designee) may trap unclassified wild animals that are causing damage or depredating on said property.

It is unlawful to: Place traps or establish drowning wires and weights prior to 7:00 a.m. on the opening date of the trapping season. All opening and closing season dates are inclusive.

Trapping Seasons:

General Western Washington Trapping Seasons (Clallam, Clark, Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Island, Jefferson, King, Kitsap, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, Pierce, San Juan, Skagit, Skamania, Snohomish, Thurston, Wahkiakum, Whatcom counties):

[Open Style:Columns Off]

(WAC 232-28-515, Illus. 1)




(WAC 232-28-515, Illus. 2)




[Open Style:Columns On]

Exceptions to General Western Washington Trapping Seasons:

Cowlitz County

Game Management Unit 522 (Loo-wit) is closed to all trapping.

Island County

The red fox season is closed.

Lewis County

Green River, above the confluence of Elk Creek, is closed to all trapping except for bobcat, and coyote. Game Management Unit 522 (Loo-wit) is closed to all trapping.

Skagit County

The Ross Lake National Recreation Area is closed to all trapping. The red fox season is closed in Skagit County, except within the exterior boundaries of the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. Raccoon, mink, and muskrat seasons are December 13, 1997 to January 31, 1998; December 12, 1998 to January 31, 1999; and December 11, 1999 to January 31, 2000.

Skamania County

Smith Creek, Bean Creek, and Clearwater Creek, above USFS 83 Road on Pine Creek, and above the confluence of Bean Creek on the Muddy River are closed to all trapping except for bobcat and coyote. Game Management Unit 522 (Loo-wit) is closed to all trapping.

Whatcom County

The Ross Lake National Recreation Area is closed to all trapping. The red fox season is closed in Whatcom County, except within the exterior boundaries of the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie, and Okanogan National Forests. Raccoon, mink, and muskrat seasons are December 13, 1997 to January 31, 1998; December 12, 1998 to January 31, 1999; and December 11, 1999 to January 31, 2000.

General Eastern Washington Trapping Seasons (Adams, Asotin, Benton, Chelan, Columbia, Douglas, Ferry, Franklin, Garfield, Grant, Kittitas, Klickitat, Lincoln, Okanogan, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Stevens, Walla Walla, Whitman, and Yakima counties):



[Open Style:Columns Off]

(WAC 232-28-515, Illus. 3)




[Open Style:Columns On]

Exceptions to General Eastern Washington Trapping Seasons:

The river otter trapping season is closed in all Eastern Washington counties, except that it is open in Chelan, Ferry, Klickitat, Kittitas, Okanogan, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Stevens and Yakima counties, as well as in the Snake and Walla Walla Rivers and their tributaries.

Chelan County

The beaver season is closed in Swakane and Mudd Creek.

Kittitas County

The beaver season is closed in the north fork of Tarpiscan Creek, and the Umtanum Creek drainage.

Urban Trapping Areas: Special Regulations and Trap Restrictions

The following described areas are closed to the taking of classified furbearing animals, and coyote, opossum, nutria, and skunk, by the use of foot-hold, kill, or snare traps except muskrat and mink may be taken with a number one and one-half foot-hold drowning set or a 110 instant kill trap during lawful trapping seasons as established by the Fish and Wildlife Commission. In these areas all traps or devices, not capable of killing the animal must be checked and the animal removed within 24 hours.

Thurston County, within the established city limits (including county islands) of Lacey, Olympia, and Tumwater.

Within Snohomish, King, and Pierce counties. Beginning at the confluence of the Snohomish River and the Puget Sound; then east up the Snohomish River to Interstate 5 (I-5); then south on I-5 to Interstate 405 (I-405); then south on I-405 to I-5; then south on I-5 to its junction with Pioneer Way; then east along Pioneer Way to Waller Road; then south along Waller Road to SR 512; then west along SR 512 to Highway 7; then south on Highway 7 to Highway 507 to the Pierce County line to Puget Sound; then north along the coast to the mouth of the Snohomish River and point of beginning.

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