WSR 11-17-060

PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY

DEPARTMENT OF

FISH AND WILDLIFE

[ Filed August 15, 2011, 10:23 a.m. ]

Subject of Possible Rule Making: Coastal recreational bottomfish and halibut fishing.

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 implementing a new yelloweye rockfish conservation area (YRCA) off the southern coast. A YRCA is an area that is closed to recreational fishing for bottomfish and halibut in order to protect yelloweye rockfish that may be incidentally caught while anglers are targeting other fish. Yelloweye rockfish are one of seven overfished species managed under rebuilding plans by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC). The retention of yelloweye rockfish is prohibited in all coastal waters.

Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: The PFMC manages groundfish fisheries in coastal waters, and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) adopts regulations developed through the PFMC. WDFW will recommend that PFMC approve and NMFS adopt federal regulations that conform to this rule. The department has the authority to adopt regulations that are more restrictive than federal regulations.

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 10, 2011. Expected proposal filing date is October 19, 2011.

August 15, 2011

Lori Preuss

Rules Coordinator

Washington State Code Reviser's Office