FISH AND WILDLIFE
Effective Date of Rule: September 22, 2010, 8:00 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 220-33-01000I; 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 two commercial fishing periods for the mainstem Columbia River. Continues to prohibit retention and sales of white sturgeon in select area fisheries (the sturgeon harvest guideline has been met for select areas). The seasons are consistent with the 2008-2017 interim management agreement, the 2010 non-Indian salmon allocation agreement and the 2010 sturgeon accord. The regulation is consistent with compact action of July 29 and September 20, 2010.
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. 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: September 21, 2010.
1. Mainstem Columbia River
a. SEASON: 8 PM Wednesday, September 22, to 6 AM Thursday, September 23, 2010.
8 PM Sunday, September 26, to 6 AM Monday, September 27, 2010
b. AREA: SMCRA 1D and 1E (Zone 4-5)
c. GEAR: Drift gillnet. 8-inch minimum mesh size restriction.
2. Blind Slough/Knappa Slough Select Area.
a. SEASON: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights immediately through October 29, 2010. Open hours are 6 PM to 8 AM.
b. AREA: Blind Slough and Knappa Slough. An area closure of approximately 100-foot radius at the mouth of Big Creek is defined by markers. Concurrent jurisdiction waters include all areas in Knappa Slough and downstream of the Railroad Bridge in Blind Slough.
c. GEAR: Gillnet. Monofilament gear is allowed. 9 3/4-inch maximum mesh size. Maximum net length of 100 fathoms. No weight restriction on lead line. Use of additional weights or anchors attached directly to the lead line is allowed.
3. Tongue Point/South Channel Select Area.
a. SEASON: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights immediately through October 30, 2010. Open hours are 4 PM to 8 AM
b. AREA: Tongue Point and South Channel. All waters in this fishing area are concurrent jurisdiction waters.
c. GEAR: Gillnet. Monofilament gear is allowed. 6-inch maximum mesh.
Tongue Point fishing area: Net length 250 fathoms, maximum. Weight not to exceed two pounds on any one fathom.
South Channel area: Net length 100 fathoms, maximum. No weight restriction on lead line. Use of additional weights or anchors attached directly to the lead line is allowed.
4. Deep River Select Area.
a. SEASON: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights immediately through October 29, 2010. Open hours 4 PM to 8 AM.
b. AREA: The Deep River Select Area. Concurrent jurisdiction waters extend downstream of the Highway 4 Bridge.
c. GEAR: Gill net. Monofilament gear is allowed. 6-inch maximum mesh. Net length 100 fathoms, maximum. No weight restriction on the lead line. Use of additional weights or anchors attached directly to the lead line is allowed. Nets may not be tied off to stationary structures. Nets may not fully cross the navigation channel.
5. ALLOWABLE SALES: Salmon and white sturgeon. Sturgeon retention and sales are prohibited in all Select Area fishing sites. For mainstem Columbia River fisheries, a maximum of six white sturgeon may be possessed or sold by each participating vessel each calendar week (Sunday through Saturday).
6. Quick Report: 24-hour quick reporting required for Washington wholesale dealers, pursuant to WAC 220-69-240. When quick reporting is required, Columbia River reports must be submitted within 24 hours of the closure of each fishing period. This quick-report requirement applies to all seasons described above (Columbia River and Select Areas).
7. Additional Rules: 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 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.
The following section of the Washington Administrative Code is repealed effective 8:00 p.m. September 22, 2010:
|WAC 220-33-01000I||Columbia River season below Bonneville. (10-244)|