WSR 10-21-122

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

FISH AND WILDLIFE

[ Filed October 20, 2010, 11:54 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 10-16-046 on July 27, 2010.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: WAC 220-52-069 Scallop fishery -- Puget Sound, commercial fishing for scallop using trawl gear.

Hearing Location(s): Natural Resources Building, Room 172, 1111 Washington Street S.E., Olympia, WA 98504, on December 3-4, 2010, at 8:30 a.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: On or after February 4, 2011.

Submit Written Comments to: Lori Preuss, Rules Coordinator, 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091, e-mail Lori.Preuss@dfw.wa.gov, fax (360) 902-2155, by December 4, 2010.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Susan Yeager by November 15, 2010, TTY (360) 902-2207 or (360) 902-2267.

Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: The intent of this proposal is to close the otter trawl fishery for scallops in all areas of Puget Sound, due to concerns over the adverse impacts of otter trawl fishing on other species of aquatic life. The commercial dive fishery for scallops will not be affected by this proposal.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: In 2010, the National Marine Fisheries Service listed three species of rockfish under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). This action by the federal government resulted in a review of commercial and recreational fisheries that might impact the listed species. The trawl fishery for scallops was judged to pose an unacceptably high risk to the listed species. Closure of the trawl fishery will provide needed conservation benefits to rockfish. Alternate harvest measures (collecting scallops by hand) exist that do not pose a risk to ESA-listed rockfish.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 77.04.012, 77.12.045, and 77.12.047.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 77.04.012, 77.12.045, and 77.12.047.

Rule is necessary because of federal law, 50 C.F.R., Parts 223 and 224.

Name of Proponent: Washington department of fish and wildlife, governmental.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Greg Bargmann, 1111 Washington Street, Olympia, (360) 902-2825; Implementation: James Scott, 1111 Washington Street, Olympia, (360) 902-2736; and Enforcement: Bruce Bjork, 1111 Washington Street, Olympia, (360) 902-2373.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. This fishery has been inactive in Puget Sound for at least ten years; no landings of scallops taken by otter trawl gear have been reported during this time. Therefore, closure of the fishery will have no economic impact on any existing businesses.

A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. These proposals do not involve hydraulics.

October 20, 2010

Lori Preuss

Rules Coordinator

OTS-3655.1


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 00-153, filed 8/16/00, effective 9/16/00)

WAC 220-52-069   Scallop fishery -- Puget Sound.   It is unlawful to fish for or possess scallops taken for commercial purposes from Puget Sound except as provided for in this section:

(1)(a) Rock scallops and weathervane scallops. It is unlawful at any time to take or possess rock or weathervane scallops taken for commercial purposes from Puget Sound unless a person has first obtained a scallop brood stock permit issued by the department. The permit will specify the species, location, time, and quantity of scallops that can be taken for brood stock or culture purposes.

(b) Licensing:

(((i))) A shellfish dive fishery license is a license that allows a permittee to retain rock and weathervane scallops for brood stock purposes.

(((ii) Shrimp trawl -- Puget Sound and food fish trawl -- Puget Sound fishery licenses are licenses that allow a permittee to retain weathervane scallops for brood stock purposes.))

(2) Pink scallops and spiny scallops.

(a) General provisions:

(i) Pink and spiny scallops may be harvested from Puget Sound at any time.

(ii) The minimum commercial pink or spiny scallop size is 2 inches in length from the hinge to the outer margin of the shell.

(iii) Persons fishing for pink or spiny scallops must have approval of the Washington state department of health. Scallops may only be taken from areas approved by the department of health and any fisher taking pink or spiny scallops must have on board the harvesting vessel a valid department of health shellfish toxin sampling agreement.

(iv) No other shellfish except octopus and squid ((or food fish)) may be retained while scallop fishing or while scallop are possessed aboard the scallop fishing vessel.

(b) Trawl gear provisions: Otter trawl gear may not be used to fish for scallops in Puget Sound at any time.

(((i) Trawlers may only use single beam trawls not exceeding ten feet in width and having mesh size no smaller than two inches in the intermediate portion and cod end of the trawl.

(ii) Trawling for scallops is prohibited in waters less than 120 feet below mean lower low water.

(iii) Trawling for scallops is prohibited in the following areas:

(A) All waters closed to bottomfish trawl in WAC 220-48-015.

(B) Shrimp Districts 1 and 3 as defined in WAC 220-52-051.

(C) Sea Urchin Districts 1 and 2 closed waters defined in WAC 220-52-073 (1)(a)(i), (ii), and (1)(b)(ii).

(iv) Licensing: A food fish trawl -- Puget Sound fishery license is the license required to operate the gear provided for in this section.))

(c) Shellfish diver gear provisions:

(i) Diving for scallops is prohibited in Sea Urchin Districts 1 and 2 closed waters as defined in WAC 220-52-073 (1)(a)(i), (ii), (1)(b)(i), and (ii).

(ii) Licensing: A shellfish dive fishery license is the license required to take scallops with shellfish diver gear.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 77.12.047. 00-17-108 (Order 00-153), 220-52-069, filed 8/16/00, effective 9/16/00. Statutory Authority: RCW 75.08.080. 94-12-009 (Order 94-23), 220-52-069, filed 5/19/94, effective 6/19/94; 93-15-051, 220-52-069, filed 7/14/93, effective 8/14/93; 91-10-024 (Order 91-22), 220-52-069, filed 4/23/91, effective 5/24/91; 87-15-022 (Order 87-69), 220-52-069, filed 7/8/87; 86-08-056 (Order 86-14), 220-52-069, filed 3/28/86; 84-08-014 (Order 84-24), 220-52-069, filed 3/27/84; 82-03-045 (Order 82-6), 220-52-069, filed 1/19/82; Order 807, 220-52-069, filed 1/2/69, effective 2/1/69. Formerly WAC 220-52-060(7).]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office