FISH AND WILDLIFE
Effective Date of Rule: May 17, 2009, 7:00 p.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 220-33-01000D; 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; and that state or federal law or federal rule or a federal deadline for state receipt of federal funds requires immediate adoption of a rule.
Reasons for this Finding: 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.
Sets the spring season commercial fisheries for the select areas. These areas are terminal areas and have minimal impact to ESA listed chinook. 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, consistent with the compact action taken on May 13, 2009. 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: May 14, 2009.
1. Blind Slough Select Area
a) Area: Only Blind Slough area open through May 28, and both Blind Slough and Knappa Slough areas open thereafter (see dates below). The lower boundary of the Knappa Slough fishing area is defined by markers on the west end of Minaker Island to markers on Karlson Island and the Oregon shore (fall boundary).
Dates: 7:00 p.m. Mondays to 7:00 a.m. Tuesdays, and 7:00 p.m. Thursdays to 7:00 a.m. Fridays from May 18 through June 12, 2009.
b) Gear: 8-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.
c) Allowable sales: salmon, shad, and white sturgeon (43-54 inch fork length). A maximum of five white sturgeon may be possessed or sold by each participating vessel during each calendar week (Sunday through Saturday) that the fishery is open.
d) A 24-hour quick reporting rule is in effect for Washington buyers.
2. Deep River Select Area
a) Area: From the markers at USCG navigation marker #16, upstream to the Highway 4 Bridge.
b) Dates: 7:00 p.m. Sundays to 7:00 a.m. Mondays and 7:00 p.m. Wednesdays to 7:00 a.m. Thursdays, from May 17 through June 11, 2009.
c) Gear: Nets are restricted to a maximum length of 100 fathoms 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 any stationary structures. Nets may not fully cross the navigation channel. 8-inch maximum mesh.
d) Allowable sale: salmon, shad, and white sturgeon (43-54 inch fork length). A maximum of five 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.
f) A 24-hour quick reporting rule is in effect for Washington buyers.
The following section of the Washington Administrative Code is repealed effective June 13, 2009:
|WAC 220-33-01000D||Columbia River seasons below Bonneville.|