FISH AND WILDLIFE
Effective Date of Rule: April 6, 2011, 11:00 a.m.
Purpose: The purpose of this rule making is to allow nontreaty commercial fishing opportunity in the Columbia River while protecting fish listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). This rule making implements federal court orders governing Washington's relationship with treaty Indian tribes, federal law governing Washington's relationship with Oregon, and Washington fish and wildlife commission policy guidance for Columbia River fisheries.
Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Repealing WAC 220-33-01000T; and amending WAC 220-33-010.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 77.04.130, 77.12.045, and 77.12.047.
Other Authority: United States v. Oregon, Civil No. 68-513-KI (D. Or.), Order Adopting 2008-2017 United States v. Oregon Management Agreement (Aug. 12, 2008) (Doc. No. 2546); Northwest Gillnetters Ass'n v. Sandison, 95 Wn.2d 638, 628 P.2d 800 (1981); Washington fish and wildlife commission policies concerning Columbia River fisheries; 40 Stat. 515 (Columbia River compact).
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: Sets the second commercial non-Indian spring chinook fishery for 2011. Restricts the mainstem catch to 6 adult adipose fin-clipped chinook per vessel. Adipose fin-clipped jack salmon (<24 inches) may be sold and do not count towards the 6-adult limit. Once the landing limit has been reached, all nonretainable chinook (including adipose fin-clipped adult fish) must be immediately returned to the water or placed in the recovery box. Nets not authorized for the mainstem fishery MAY NOT be onboard the vessel. Spring select area commercial seasons remain in place. Impacts to ESA-listed salmon are expected to be within ESA limits. The fishery is consistent with the U.S. v Oregon Management Agreement and the associated biological opinion. Conforms Washington state rules with Oregon state rules. Regulation is consistent with compact action of February 8 and April 4, 2011. There is insufficient time to promulgate permanent rules.
Washington and Oregon jointly regulate Columbia River fisheries under the congressionally ratified Columbia River compact. Four Indian tribes have treaty fishing rights in the Columbia River. The treaties preempt state regulations that fail to allow the tribes an opportunity to take a fair share of the available fish, and the states must manage other fisheries accordingly. Sohappy v. Smith, 302 F. Supp. 899 (D. Or. 1969). A federal court order sets the current parameters for sharing between treaty Indians and others. United States v. Oregon, Civil No. 68-513-KI (D. Or.), Order Adopting 2008-2017 United States v. Oregon Management Agreement (Aug. 12, 2008) (Doc. No. 2546).
Some Columbia River Basin salmon and steelhead stocks are listed as threatened or endangered under the federal ESA. On May 5, 2008, the National Marine Fisheries Service issued a biological opinion under 16 U.S.C. § 1536 that allows for some incidental take of these species in treaty and nontreaty Columbia River fisheries governed by the 2008-2017 U.S. v. Oregon Management Agreement. The Washington and Oregon fish and wildlife commissions have developed policies to guide the implementation of such biological opinions in the states' regulation of nontreaty fisheries.
Columbia River nontreaty fisheries are monitored very closely to ensure compliance with federal court orders, the ESA, and commission guidelines. Because conditions change rapidly, the fisheries are managed almost exclusively by emergency rule. Representatives from the Washington (WDFW) and Oregon (ODFW) departments of fish and wildlife convene public hearings and take public testimony when considering proposals for new emergency rules. WDFW and ODFW then adopt regulations reflecting agreements reached.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 1, Amended 0, Repealed 1; Federal Rules or Standards: New 1, Amended 0, Repealed 1; 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.
Date Adopted: April 5, 2011.
for Philip Anderson
1. Mainstem Columbia River
a) Area: SMCRA 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D and 1E.
b) Dates: 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Wednesday, April 6, 2011.
c) Allowable Sales: Adipose fin-clipped salmon, white sturgeon (43-54 inch fork length), and shad. A maximum of 6 adipose fin-clipped adult Chinook may be possessed or sold by each participating vessel. The first 6 adult hatchery fish caught must be retained. No additional drifts may be conducted once the adult Chinook landing limit has been met. Adipose fin-clipped jack salmon (less than 24 inches) may be sold and do not count against the adult salmon landing limit. An adipose fin-clipped salmon is defined as a hatchery salmon with a clipped adipose fin and having a healed scar at the location of the fin. An adult salmon is defined as a fish at least 24 inches in total length.
d) Sanctuaries: Grays River, Elochoman-B, Abernathy Creek, Cowlitz River, Kalama-B, Lewis-B, Sandy, and Washougal rivers, as applicable.
e) Gear: Drift gill nets only; 4-1/4 inch maximum mesh.
Multifilament web required for the 4-1/4 inch.
Net length not to exceed 150 fathoms, except tangle nets constructed with an optional steelhead excluding device (large mesh panel, weedlines, or droppers) hung between the corkline and the 4 1/4" maximum mesh size tangle net may extend to a maximum length of 175 fathoms. The excluder panel web must be a minimum mesh size of 12" stretched measure when taut under hand tension. Monofilament mesh is allowed for the excluder panel only. The excluder panel must be a minimum of five feet in depth and must not exceed ten feet in depth as measured from the corkline to the upper margin of the tangle net mesh as the net hangs naturally from a taut corkline. Weedlines or droppers (bobber type) may be used in place of the steelhead excluder panel. A weedline-type excluder means the net is suspended below the corkline by lines of no less than five feet in length between the corkline and the upper margin of the tangle net. A dropper-type excluder means the entire net is suspended below the surface of the water by lines of no less than five feet in length extending from individual surface floats to a submersed corkline. The corkline cannot be capable of floating the net in its entirety (including the leadline) independent of the attached floats. Weedlines or droppers must extend a minimum of five feet above the 4 1/4" maximum mesh size tangle net. Tangle nets constructed with a steelhead excluder panel, weedlines, or droppers must have two red corks at each end of the net, as well as the red corks required under miscellaneous regulations. There are no restrictions on the use of slackers or stringers to slacken the net vertically. There are no restrictions on the hang ratio. The hang ratio is used to horizontally add slack to the net and is determined by the length of the web per length of the corkline.
f) Miscellaneous Regulations:
Soak times: Defined as the time elapsed from when the first of the gill net web is deployed into the water until the gill net web is fully retrieved from the water, must not exceed 45 minutes.
Red corks: Are required at 25 fathom intervals, and red corks must be in contrast to the corks used in the remainder of the net.
Lighted Buoys: Nets that are fished at any time between official sunset and official sunrise must have lighted buoys on both ends of the net unless the net is attached to the boat. If the net is attached to the boat, then one lighted buoy on the opposite end of the net from the boat is required
Recovery Box: Each boat will be required to have on board two operable recovery boxes or one box with two chambers. Each box and chamber and associated pump shall be operating during any time that the net is being retrieved or picked. Each chamber of the recovery box(es) must include an operating water pumping system capable of delivering a minimum flow of 16 gallons per minute, not to exceed 20 gallons per minute of freshwater per chamber. Each chamber of the recovery box must meet the following dimensions as measured from within the box; the inside length measurement must be at or within 39 1/2 inches to 48 inches, the inside width measurements must be at or within 8 to 10 inches, and the inside height measurement must be at or within 14 to 16 inches.
Each chamber of the recovery box must include a water inlet hole between 3/4 inch and 1 inch in diameter, centered horizontally across the door or end wall of the chamber and 1 3/4 inches from the floor of the chamber. Each chamber of the recovery box must include a water outlet hole that is a least 1 1/2 inches in diameter located on either the same or opposite end as the inlet. The center of the outlet hole must be located a minimum of 12 inches above the floor of the box or chamber. The fisher must demonstrate to WDFW and ODFW employees, fish and wildlife enforcement officers, or other peace officers, upon request, that the pumping system is delivering the proper volume of fresh river water into each chamber.
All non-legal sturgeon, non-retainable salmon, and steelhead must be released immediately to the river with care and with the least possible injury to the fish, or placed into an operating recovery box.
Any fish that is bleeding or lethargic must be placed in the recovery box prior to being released. All fish placed in recovery boxes must be released to the river prior to landing or docking.
Observer program: As a condition of fishing, owners or operators of commercial fishing vessels must cooperate with department observers or observers collecting data for the department, when notified by the observer of his or her intent to board the commercial vessel for observation and sampling during an open fishery.
Live Capture workshop: Only licensed Columbia River commercial fishers that have completed the required state-sponsored workshop concerning live capture commercial fishing techniques may participate in this fishery. At least one fisher on each boat must have live capture certification.
24-hour quick reporting is required for Washington wholesale dealers, per WAC 220-69-240.
2. Deep River Select Area
a) Area: From the markers at USCG navigation marker #16, upstream to the Highway 4 Bridge.
b) Dates: Open hours are: 7:00 p.m. Sundays to 7:00 a.m. Mondays, and 7:00 p.m. Wednesdays to 7:00 a.m. Thursdays from April 17 through June 9, 2011.
c) Gear: Gillnets. 9 3/4-inch maximum mesh. Nets are restricted to 100 fathoms in length with no weight restriction on leadline. Use of additional weights or anchors attached directly to the leadline is allowed. Nets cannot be tied off to stationary structures. Nets may not fully cross navigation channel. It is unlawful to operate in any river, stream or channel any gillnet longer than three-fourths the width of the stream (WAC 220-20-015(1)). It shall be unlawful in any area to use, operate, or carry aboard a commercial fishing vessel a licensed net or combination of such nets, whether fished singly or separately, in excess of the maximum lawful size or length prescribed for a single net in that area, except as otherwise provided for in the rules and regulations of the department (WAC 220-20-010(17)). Nets (or parts of nets) not specifically authorized for use in these areas may be onboard a vessel if properly stored. A properly stored net is defined as a net on a drum that is fully covered by a tarp (canvas or plastic) and bound with a minimum of ten revolutions of rope with a diameter of 3/8 (0.375) inches or greater. Nets that are fished at any time between official sunset and official sunrise must have lighted buoys on both ends of the net unless the net is attached to the boat. If the net is attached to the boat, then one lighted buoy on the opposite end of the net from the boat is required.
d) Allowable sale: salmon, shad, and white sturgeon. A maximum of two white sturgeon may be possessed or sold by each participating vessel during each calendar week (Sunday through Saturday) that the fishery is open.
e) Miscellaneous: Transportation or possession of fish outside the fishing area (except to the sampling station) is unlawful until department staff has biologically sampled individual catches. After sampling, fishers will be issued a transportation permit by agency staff. A sampling station will be established approximately 2 miles downstream of the Highway 4 Bridge near Stephan's dock.
f) 24-hour quick reporting in effect for Washington buyers.
3. Tongue Point/South Channel
a) Area: Tongue Point fishing area includes all waters bounded by a line extended from the upstream (southern most) pier (#1) at the Tongue Point Job Corps facility, through navigation marker #6 to Mott Island, (new spring lower deadline); a line from a marker at the southeast end of Mott Island, northeasterly to a marker on the northwest tip of Lois Island; and a line from a marker on the southwest end of Lois Island, westerly to a marker on the Oregon shore.
The South Channel area includes all waters bounded by a line from a marker on John Day Point through the green USCG buoy #7 to a marker on the southwest end of Lois Island, upstream to an upper boundary line from a marker on Settler Point, northwesterly to the flashing red USCG marker #10, and northwesterly to a marker on Burnside Island defining the upstream terminus of South Channel.
b) Dates: Open hours are 7:00 p.m. Mondays to 7:00 a.m. Tuesdays, and 7:00 p.m. Thursdays to 7:00 a.m. Fridays from April 25 through June 10, 2011.
Gear: Gillnets. In the Tongue Point fishing area, gear restricted to 9 3/4-inch maximum mesh size, maximum net length of 250 fathoms, and weight not to exceed two pounds on any one fathom. In the South Channel fishing area, gear restricted to 9 3/4-inch maximum mesh size, maximum net length of 100 fathoms, no weight restriction on leadline, and use of additional weights or anchors attached directly to the leadline is allowed. Nets that are fished at any time between official sunset and official sunrise must have lighted buoys on both ends of the net unless the net is attached to the boat. If the net is attached to the boat, then one lighted buoy on the opposite end of the net from the boat is required.
c) Allowable sale: salmon, shad, and white sturgeon. A maximum of two white sturgeon may be possessed or sold by each participating vessel during each calendar week (Sunday through Saturday) that the fishery is open.
d) Miscellaneous: During April 25 through May 20, 2011, transportation or possession of fish outside the fishing area is unlawful (except while in transit to ODFW sampling stations) until ODFW staff has biologically sampled individual catches. A sampling station will be established near the Tongue Point area. After sampling, fishers will be issued a transportation permit by agency staff. Beginning May 23, fishers are required to call 503-428-0518 and leave a message including name, catch, and where and when fish will be sold.
e) 24-hour quick reporting in effect for Washington buyers.
4. Blind Slough/Knappa Slough Select Area
a) Area: Only the Blind Slough area is open during winter season, and both Blind Slough and Knappa Slough areas are open during spring season. From May 2 through June 10, 2011, the lower boundary of the Knappa Slough fishing area is extended downstream to boundary lines defined by markers on the west end of Minaker Island to markers on Karlson Island and the Oregon Shore (Fall season boundary).
b) Dates: Open hours are 7:00 p.m. Mondays to 7:00 a.m. Tuesdays and 7:00 p.m. Thursdays to 7:00 a.m. Fridays from April 18 through June 10, 2011.
c) Gear: Gillnets. Spring Season: 9 3/4-inch maximum mesh. Nets are restricted to 100 fathoms in length, with no weight restriction on leadline. Use of additional weights or anchors attached directly to the leadline is allowed. Nets fished any time between official sunset and official sunrise must have lighted buoys on both ends of the net. If the net is attached to the boat, then one lighted buoy on the end of the net opposite the boat is required.
d) Allowable sales: salmon, shad, and white sturgeon. A maximum of two white sturgeon may be possessed or sold by each participating vessel during each calendar week (Sunday through Saturday) that the fishery is open.
e) 24-hour quick reporting in effect for Washington buyers. Permanent transportation rules in effect.
Reviser's note: The unnecessary underscoring in the above section occurred in the copy filed by the agency and appears in the Register pursuant to the requirements of RCW 34.08.040.
The following section of the Washington Administrative Code is repealed effective 11:00 a.m. April 6, 2011:
|WAC 220-33-01000T||Columbia River seasons below Bonneville. (11-45)|