WSR 99-08-011

EMERGENCY RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

FISH AND WILDLIFE

[ Order 99-22-- Filed March 26, 1999, 12:51 p.m. , effective March 27, 1999, 6:00 p.m. ]

Date of Adoption: March 25, 1999.

Purpose: Commercial and personal use rules.

Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Repealing WAC 220-52-04600K and 220-56-33000L; and amending WAC 220-52-046, 220-48-015, 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 Areas 21A, 21B, 22B, 24A, 24B, 24C, 24D, 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. Temporary closure of the ground fish bottom trawl fishery in these areas is necessary to prevent crab resource damage and wastage.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.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 3, Amended 0, Repealed 2.

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: March 27, 1999, 6:00 p.m.

March 25, 1999

J. P. Koenings

Director


NEW SECTION
WAC 220-52-04600L
Commercial crab fishery--Allocation/softshell closures.

Notwithstanding the provisions of WAC 220-52-046, effective 6:00 p.m. March 27, 1999 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 21B, 22B, 24A, 24B, 24C, 24D, 26A, 25B, and 25D.

(2) All waters of Marine Fish/Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Area 21A except those waters north of a line extending from Carter Point on Lummi Island to the northern point of Sinclair Island and west of Lummi Island.

(3) 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.

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REPEALER

The following section of the Washington Administrative Code is repealed effective 6:00 p.m. March 27, 1999:

WAC 220-52-04600KCommercial crab fishery--Allocation/softshell closures. (98-259)

NEW SECTION
WAC 220-48-01500I
Puget Sound bottom trawl restriction in softshell crab areas.

Notwithstanding the provisions of WAC 220-48-015, effective 6:00 p.m. March 27 until further notice, it is unlawful to fish for bottomfish for commercial purposes using beam trawl or bottom trawl fishing gear in the following areas:

(1) All waters of Marine Fish/Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Area 22B.

(2) All waters of Marine Fish/Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Area 21A except those waters north of a line extending from Carter Point on Lummi Island to the northern point of Sinclair Island and west of Lummi Island.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 220-56-33000M
Personal use crab fishery--Allocations/softshell closures.

Notwithstanding the provisions of WAC 220-52-330, it is unlawful to fish for Dungeness crab taken for personal use in the following areas:

(1) Effective 8:00 a.m. March 27 until further notice it is unlawful to fish for Dungeness crab taken for personal use using shellfish pot gear from all waters of 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.

(2) Effective 6:00 p.m. March 27 until further notice, it is unlawful to fish for Dungeness crab taken for personal use using shellfish pot gear from waters of Catch Record Card Area 7 south and east of a line from Point Francis to the north end of Inati Bay on Lummi Island, and east of a line from Carter Point on Lummi Island to the northern point of Sinclair Island, and east of a line from the southeast point of Sinclair Island to the Shannon Point ferry dock.

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REPEALER

The following section of the Washington Administrative Code is repealed effective 8:00 a.m. March 27, 1999:

WAC 220-56-33000LPersonal use crab fishery--Allocation/softshell closures. (98-259)

Washington State Code Reviser's Office