FISH AND WILDLIFE
[Order 98-259--Filed December 24, 1998, 8:03 a.m., effective December 31, 1998, 4:00 p.m.]
Date of Adoption: December 23, 1998.
Purpose: Commercial and personal use rules.
Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 220-52-046 and 220-56-330.
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 closures in this emergency rule are necessitated by federal court order. The state may not authorize commercial shellfish harvests absent agreed planning or compliance with a process. Agreed plans with applicable tribes have been entered as required by the court order. Such plans have the effect of a federal court order. 898 F.Supp. 1453, 1466, 3.1. Pursuant to RCW 34.04.350 [34.05.350], the need to comply with such federal court orders in the form of allocative management plans constitutes an emergency that requires bypassing the time periods inherent in permanent rule making. Additionally, test fishing results from Marine Fish/Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Area 24B, and portions of Areas 24C, and 26A do not meet hardshell criteria established by agreed state/tribal harvest plans. The agreed plans require fishery closures to prevent unacceptable handling mortality and resource loss when hardshell criteria are not met. Failure to comply with the conservation and/or allocation requirements of such plans may result in contempt of federal court or failure of all commercial crab fishing in a given region addressed by a plan. 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Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 2, amended 0, repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0.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: December 31, 1998, 4:00 p.m.
December 23, 1998
Sara G. LaBorde
for Larry Peck
WAC 220-52-04600K Commercial crab fishery--Allocation/softshell closures. Notwithstanding the provisions of WAC 220-52-046, effective 4:00 p.m. December 31 until further notice, it is unlawful to fish for Dungeness crab for commercial purposes in Puget Sound in the following areas:
(1) All waters of Marine Fish/Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Areas 24A, 24B, 24C, 24D, 26A, 25B, and 25D.
(2) Those waters of Marine Fish/Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Area 25A west of a line from the new Dungeness Light to the mouth of Cooper Creek.
WAC 220-56-33000L Personal use crab fishery--Allocation/ softshell closures. Notwithstanding the provisions of WAC 220-52-330, effective 4:00 p.m. December 31 until further notice, it is unlawful to fish for Dungeness crab taken for personal use from Catch Record Card Areas 8-1 and 8-2, and the portion of Catch Record Card Area 9 north and east of a line from Picnic Point to Possession Point on Whidbey Island.