WSR 08-10-014

EMERGENCY RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

FISH AND WILDLIFE

[ Order 08-87 -- Filed April 25, 2008, 9:10 a.m. , effective April 25, 2008, 9:10 a.m. ]


Effective Date of Rule: Immediately.

Purpose: Amend commercial fishing rules.

Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Repealing WAC 220-52-04000V and 220-52-04000W; and amending WAC 220-52-040.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 77.12.047.

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: Severe winter storms resulted in commercial crab gear being scattered from its original location. A provision to allow this gear to be recovered is a conservation measure that will reduce the accumulation of lost and derelict gear in the ocean. The emergency rule that was filed on April 23, 2008, as WSR 08-10-002, failed to make it clear that both the derelict-gear owners and the retrievers must sign an official department letter to take part in the derelict-gear recovery program. 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Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 1, Amended 0, Repealed 2.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Date Adopted: April 24, 2008.

Phil Anderson

for Jeff Koenings

Director


NEW SECTION
WAC 220-52-04000W   Coastal crab fishery -- Lawful and unlawful gear.   (1) Notwithstanding the provisions of WAC 220-52-040, effective immediately through May 31, 2008, it is unlawful to remove, retrieve, or possess commercial crab gear belonging to another, except as provided in this section:

(a) Licensed Coastal Dungeness crab operators may retrieve and possess another's commercial crab gear under the following conditions: The license owner or designated alternate operator must first sign the 2008 Coastal Crab Gear Recovery Permission Letter indicating his or her intent to participate in the derelict-gear removal program. Owners of derelict commercial crab gear who want to allow license owners and designated alternate operators to retrieve the derelict gear also must sign the 2008 Coastal Crab Gear Recovery Permission Letter indicating this intent. The department will then compile an official list of all program participants. Licensed Dungeness crab operators must have aboard the vessel, when retrieving another's derelict commercial crab gear, a copy of this official list. Only commercial crab gear belonging to an individual whose name or buoy number is on the official list aboard the retrieving vessel can be retrieved.

(b) Licensed Coastal Dungeness crab operators may only retrieve and remove derelict commercial crab gear from the waters of the Pacific Ocean between the mouth of the Columbia River (4615.00.N) and Point Chehalis, Washington (4653.30.N).

(c) Licensed Coastal Dungeness crab operators who retrieve and remove derelict commercial crab gear must immediately record in their Washington Coastal Dungeness Crab logbook, by latitude and longitude, the location of each pot retrieved.

(d) Licensed Coastal Dungeness crab operators who retrieve and remove derelict commercial crab gear must attempt to contact the lawful owner and make arrangements to return the gear within six weeks of retrieving and removing the gear. If an operator cannot meet this deadline, or if no owner claims the gear or can be found, the operator must call department biologist Brandon Bryant at (360) 249-4628, extension 229, by the end of the seventh week after retrieving and removing the gear.

(2) Coastal commercial Dungeness license owners and designated alternate operators must return all original copies of the 2008 Coastal Crab Gear Recovery Permission Letter by May 1, 2008, to WDFW's Region 6 Office, 48 Devonshire Rd, Montesano, WA 98563.

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REPEALER


The following section of the Washington Administrative Code is repealed, effective immediately:


WAC 220-52-04000V Coastal crab fishery -- Lawful and unlawful gear.

The following section of the Washington Administrative Code is repealed, effective 11:59 p.m. on June 1, 2008:


WAC 220-52-04000W Coastal crab fishery -- Lawful and unlawful gear.

Washington State Code Reviser's Office