FISH AND WILDLIFE
[Order 18-234—Filed September 7, 2018, 4:32 p.m., effective September 7, 2018, 4:32 p.m.]
Effective Date of Rule: Immediately upon filing.
Purpose: Amend coastal commercial crab rules.
Citation of Rules Affected by this Order: Repealing WAC 220-340-45000H and 220-340-49000B; and amending WAC 220-340-450 and 220-340-490.
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: This emergency rule is necessary to protect crab during the typical fall molting period and to meet the stipulations found in state tribal agreements it is necessary to close the commercial crab fishery. Washington department of fish and wildlife permitted gear recovery is allowed by permanent regulation fifteen days following the close of the commercial season to allow fish and wildlife officers time to enforce rules relative to fishing during the closed season. An earlier start to the permitted gear recovery gives participants more time to recover lost gear before weather conditions become prohibitive to safe gear recovery efforts. There is insufficient time to adopt permanent rules.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted at the Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's own Initiative: New 2, Amended 0, Repealed 2.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.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 7, 2018.
WAC 220-340-450000HCommercial crab fishery—Seasons and areas—Coastal.
Notwithstanding the provisions of WAC 220-340-450, effective immediately until 11:59 pm September 15, 2018, it is unlawful to fish for Dungeness crab in Washington coastal waters, the Pacific Ocean, Grays Harbor, Willapa Bay, or the Columbia River, except as provided for in this section.
(1) The area from and the U.S./Canada border to the WA/OR border (46°15.00) and Willapa Bay is open.
(2) For the purposes of this section, the waters of Willapa Bay are defined to include the marine waters east of a line connecting 46°44.76 N, 124°05.76 W and 46°38.93 N, 124°04.33 W.
(3) The area of Quinault Secondary Special Management Area (SSMA) is closed until further notice, from the area shoreward of a line approximating the 27-fathom depth curve between the mouth of the Raft River (47º28.00) and 47º02.70. This SSMA is described by the following coordinates:
Northeast Corner (Split Rock): 47°24.50' N. Lat. 124°20.00' W. Lon.
Northwest Corner: 47°24.50' N. Lat. 124°32.40' W. Lon.
Southwest Corner: 47°12.25' N. Lat. 124°27.50' W. Lon.
Southeast Corner (Joe Creek): 47°12.25' N. Lat. 124°12.28' W. Lon.
(4) All other provisions of the permanent rule remain in effect.
Reviser's note: The section above appears as filed by the agency pursuant to RCW 34.08.040
; however, the reference to WAC 220-340-450000H is probably intended to be WAC 220-340-45000H.
WAC 220-340-49000BCoastal crab fishery—Coastal crab gear recovery permit.
Notwithstanding the provisions of WAC 220-340-490:
(1) Effective 8:01 am September 21, 2018 until 11:59 PM October 31, 2018, a coastal crab gear recovery permit may be granted by the director or his or her designee for licensed coastal Dungeness crab fishers to recover crab pots belonging to state licensed fishers that remain in the ocean in the coastal waters between the Washington/Oregon border (46°15.00) and the US/Canada border, including the Columbia River, Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor.
(2) No crab may be retained on any vessel engaged in permitted gear recovery activities or while recovered gear is on board the vessel.
The following section of the Washington Administrative Code is repealed effective 11:59 p.m. September 15, 2018:
Commercial crab fishery—Seasons and areas—Coastal. (18-234)
The following section of the Washington Administrative Code is repealed effective November 1, 2018:
Coastal crab fishery—Coastal crab gear recovery permit. (18-234)