WSR 06-15-073

PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY

DEPARTMENT OF

FISH AND WILDLIFE

[ Filed July 13, 2006, 11:29 a.m. ]

Subject of Possible Rule Making: Coastal Dungeness crab rules.

Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 77.12.047.

Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: The Dungeness crab management plan for summer fisheries in the ocean provides for seasonal time and area closures to protect soft shell crab. A significant proportion of the crab population goes into molt during the summer period, starting in deep water and progressing towards shallow water as the season progresses. The actions to close crabbing at certain times and areas will provide a significant reduction in handling mortality and increase the available harvest in the coming season.

Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: None.

Process for Developing New Rule: Agency study.

Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Phil Anderson, Special Assistant to the Director, 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98504-1091, phone (360) 902-2720. Contact by September 18, 2006. Expected proposal filing on or after September 20, 2006.

July 13, 2006

Morris W. Barker

Rules Coordinator

Washington State Code Reviser's Office