WSR 11-14-025

EMERGENCY RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

FISH AND WILDLIFE

[ Order 11-135 -- Filed June 24, 2011, 2:15 p.m. , effective June 27, 2011 ]


Effective Date of Rule: June 27, 2011.

Purpose: The purpose of this rule making is to allow nontreaty recreational 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 232-28-61900X; and amending WAC 232-28-619.

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: The estuary sturgeon fishery was originally scheduled to close June 27, 2011, and then reopen for four more days of fishing from July 1 through July 4, 2011. Angling effort and catch have been less than expected, with a balance of four thousand three hundred sixty fish expected by the end of the previously adopted season. This action sets additional fishing time to catch the remaining balance. The regulation is consistent with Washington fish and wildlife commission guidance for 2011 lower Columbia River sturgeon management. The Bonneville Pool harvest guideline of two thousand white sturgeon was not reached during the regular season, which closed February 19, 2011. A balance of three hundred seventy-three fish remains on the guideline. This action sets additional fishing time to catch the remaining balance. The dates for retention of white sturgeon are based on actions adopted at the joint Washington-Oregon public hearing on June 23, 2011. There is insufficient time to adopt permanent rules.

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: June 24, 2011.

Philip Anderson

Director


NEW SECTION
WAC 232-28-61900M   Exceptions to statewide rules -- Columbia River sturgeon.   Notwithstanding the provisions of WAC 232-28-619:

(1) Effective immediately until further notice, it is unlawful to retain sturgeon caught in those waters of the Columbia River and tributaries from John Day Dam upstream to McNary Dam.

(2) Effective immediately until August 31, 2011, it is unlawful to fish for or possess sturgeon in those waters of the Columbia River upstream from a line crossing the Columbia from Navigation Marker 82 on the Oregon shore through the upstream exposed end of Skamania Island, continuing in a straight line to a boundary marker on the Washington shore.

(3) Effective June 27, 2011, until further notice, it is unlawful to retain white sturgeon caught in those waters of the Columbia River from the mouth upstream to the Wauna powerlines, and all adjacent Washington tributaries, except a person may retain white sturgeon from June 27 through July 31, 2011. Minimum size when open to retain white sturgeon in this area is 41 inches fork length through July 31, 2011.

(4) Effective immediately until further notice, it is unlawful to retain sturgeon caught in those waters of the Columbia River and tributaries from Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam, except a person may retain white sturgeon from June 30 through July 2 and from July 7 through July 9, 2011.

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REPEALER

     The following section of the Washington Administrative Code is repealed:
WAC 232-28-61900X Exceptions to statewide rules -- Columbia River sturgeon. (11-59)

Washington State Code Reviser's Office