WSR 98-21-049




[Order 98-218--Filed October 15, 1998, 4:22 p.m., effective October 17, 1998, 12:01 a.m.]

Date of Adoption: October 15, 1998.

Purpose: Personal use rules.

Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Repealing WAC 220-57-42500E; and amending WAC 220-57-425.

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: Preseason planning during the PFMC process indicated a 1998 return of approximately 95,000 natural origin coho, but poor marine survival the last several years, caused concern that this preseason number might be too high. As a result, fisheries were scheduled more conservatively than the preseason number indicated. Within that planning effort, it was agreed to utilize the tribal inseason update fishery to establish the 1998 Skagit coho run size. If the update fishery indicated the run size was approximately as forecast, fisheries should be increased. Analysis of the update fishery indicates run size is between 70,000 to 100,000.+ coho, depending upon which weeks fishery numbers are used (week 38, 39, and 40). Marked or tagged adult coho of hatchery origin comprise approximately 20% of the catch to date.

In addition, past season setting processes concerning the Skagit coho catch distribution have addressed the management concern of catch imbalances between tribal and nontribal fishers. These imbalances have favored the nontribal group (larger catches) due to marine area fisheries. Recent discussions with the Skagit tribes has produced an agreement for WDFW to open a recreational fishery on the river this year starting October 17. The tribes have scheduled fishery openings since the update information in mid-September in an effort to eliminate the past harvest imbalance.

It has also been agreed between the comanagers to set an early January meeting between technical staff to address reoccurring coho management issues on the Skagit. These meetings should allow agreement between the comanagers during the North of Falcon process for future stock assessment and harvest opportunities on Skagit coho. 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: October 17, 1998, 12:01 a.m.

October 15, 1998

Larry W. Peck

Acting Director


WAC 220-57-42500E  Skagit River. Notwithstanding the provisions of WAC 220-57-425, effective 12:01 a.m. October 17 through 11:59 p.m. December 31, 1998, it is unlawful to fish for or possess salmon taken from the Skagit River except as provided for in this section:

(1) Open upstream from the mouth to the mouth of the Cascade River. Special daily limit of two salmon, except all chinook salmon must be released immediately. Minimum size 12 inches.

(2) Non-buoyant lure restriction (WAC 220-56-205) and night closure (WAC 220-56-225) in effect through November 30 in waters upstream of Gilligan Creek to the mouth of the Cascade River.



The following section of the Washington Administrative Code is repealed effective 11:59 p.m. December 31, 1998:

WAC 220-57-42500E Skagit River (98-218)