WSR 10-18-001

PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY

DEPARTMENT OF

FISH AND WILDLIFE

[ Filed August 18, 2010, 1:59 p.m. ]

Subject of Possible Rule Making: Commercial and recreational fishing in Puget Sound.

Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 77.04.020 and 77.12.047.

Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: The department is considering the creation of one or more marine protected areas (MPA) in Puget Sound. A MPA is a legally defined area where recreational and commercial fishing is restricted or prohibited. Creation of a network of MPAs is a major component of the department's Puget Sound rockfish conservation plan. The goals of the new MPAs are to conserve fish resources, promote biodiversity, and provide increased underwater viewing opportunities.

Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has listed three rockfish species as "endangered" under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). State and federal agencies are now developing conservation plans to recover these species. As stated above, the Washington department of fish and wildlife (WDFW) is creating a network of MPAs as a major component of the department's Puget Sound rockfish conservation plan. WDFW will work with NMFS in developing the MPAs and rockfish conservation plan.

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 Lori Preuss, WDFW Enforcement, 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091, phone (360) 902-2930, fax (360) 902-2155, e-mail Lori.Preuss@dfw.wa.gov. Contact by October 15, 2010. Expected proposal filing date is October 20, 2010.

August 18, 2010

Lori Preuss

Rules Coordinator

Washington State Code Reviser's Office