FISH AND WILDLIFE
[Order 19-78—Filed April 17, 2019, 5:14 p.m., effective April 17, 2019, 5:14 p.m.]
Effective Date of Rule: Immediately upon filing.
Purpose: This emergency rule will allow nontreaty commercial fishing opportunities in the Columbia River while protecting fish listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). This rule 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 Rules Affected by this Order: Repealing WAC 220-358-03000Z; and amending WAC 220-358-030.
Other Authority: United States v. Oregon, Civil No. 68-513-KI (D. Or.), Order Adopting 2018-2027 United States v. Oregon Management Agreement (February 26, 2018) (Doc. No. 2607-1). 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: Rescinds fisheries in Tongue Point and modifies fisheries in the South Channel and Knappa Slough Select Area commercial season due to higher than anticipated impacts. Fishery modifications are necessary to slow the accrual of upriver impacts while still providing fishing opportunity. The fishery is consistent with the U.S. v Oregon Management Agreement and the associated biological opinion. Conforms Washington state rules with Oregon state rules. Regulation is consistent with compact actions of January 29, March 28, and April 16, 2019. There is insufficient time to promulgate permanent rules.
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 court order sets the current parameters. United States v. Oregon, Civil No. 68-513-KI (D. Or.), Order Adopting 2018-2027 United States v. Oregon Management Agreement (February 26, 2018) (Doc. No. 2607-1). Some salmon and steelhead stocks in the Columbia River are listed as threatened or endangered under the federal ESA. On February 23, 2018, 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 the fisheries as described in the 2018-2027 U.S. v. Oregon Management Agreement.
Some Columbia River Basin salmon and steelhead stocks are listed as threatened or endangered under the federal ESA. 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, 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.
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 1, Amended 0, Repealed 1.
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 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: April 17, 2019.
WAC 220-358-03000AColumbia River seasons below Bonneville.
Notwithstanding the provisions of WAC 220-358-030, WAC 220-358-040, and WAC 220-335-050, it is unlawful for a person to take or possess salmon, sturgeon, and shad for commercial purposes from Columbia River Salmon Management and Catch Reporting Areas 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, 1E and Select Areas, except during the times and conditions listed below:
(1) Tongue Point/South Channel
South Channel only:
Thursday night April 18 from 7 PM to 11 PM (4 hours),
Tuesday night April 23 from 10 PM to 2 AM April 24 (4 hours),
Friday April 26 from midnight to 4 AM (4 hours), and
Monday and Thursday nights (7 PM to 7 AM) from April 29 through May 29
The Tongue Point Winter-Spring Subarea is defined as waters of the Columbia River bounded by a line from the end of the southern-most pier (#1) at the Tongue Point Job Corps facility projecting in a straight line through flashing red USCG light "6" to the shore of Mott Island, a line from a regulatory marker at the southeast end of Mott Island northeasterly to a regulatory marker on the northwest shore of Lois Island, and a line from a regulatory marker located on the Oregon shore approximately 300 yards northwest of the railroad bridge crossing the John Day River projecting easterly to a regulatory marker on the southwest shore of Lois Island. If the marker on the Oregon shore is not in place, the upper boundary is defined by a line projecting easterly from a point (46°10'57.7"N latitude 123°44'35.3"W longitude) on the Oregon shore approximately 300 yards northwest of the railroad bridge crossing the John Day River to a regulatory marker on the southwest shore of Lois Island.
The South Channel Select Area is defined as waters of the Columbia River bounded by a line from a regulatory marker on the Oregon shore at John Day Point projecting northeasterly to a regulatory marker on the southwest shore of Lois Island, and a line from a regulatory marker on Settler Point projecting northwesterly to the flashing red USCG light "10" then projecting westerly to the eastern tip of Burnside Island.
(c) Gear: Gillnets.
Winter season: 7-inch minimum mesh size restriction
Spring and Summer seasons: 9 3/4-inch maximum mesh size restriction
The maximum net length is 1,500 feet (250 fathoms).
In the Tongue Point winter-spring subarea the lead line weight may not exceed two pounds per any one fathom;
In the South Channel Select Area, there is no lead line weight limit and attachment of additional weight and anchors directly to the lead line is permitted.
Nets not specifically authorized for use may be onboard a vessel if properly stored, however, unstored gillnets legal for use in South Channel may be onboard. 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.
(d) Allowable sales: Salmon (except Chum) and shad. Retention and sale of sturgeon is prohibited
Permanent regulations including rules related to transportation and lighted buoys remain in effect.
24-hour quick reporting required for Washington buyers, pursuant to WAC 220-352-315.
Oregon buyers are required to submit fish receiving tickets electronically pursuant to OAR 635-006-0210.
(2) Blind Slough/Knappa Slough Select Area
Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights (7 PM to 7 AM) from April 29 through June 14.
Knappa Slough only
Thursday night April 18 from 7 PM – 11 PM
Tuesday night April 23 10 PM – Wednesday morning April 24 2 AM
Friday April 26 midnight to 4 AM
Blind Slough only
Thursday April 18 7 PM – Friday April 19 7 AM
Tuesday April 23 7 PM – Wednesday April 24 7 AM
Thursday April 25 7 PM – Friday April 26 7 AM
Monday and Thursday nights (7 PM to 7 AM) from June 17 through June 28.
The Blind Slough Select Area is defined as waters of Blind Slough and Gnat Creek from a north-south line represented by regulatory markers at the mouth of Blind Slough upstream to a regulatory marker in Gnat Creek located approximately 0.5 miles southeasterly (upstream) of the Barendse Road Bridge.
The Knappa Slough Select Area is defined as waters of Knappa Slough, Calendar Slough, and Big Creek Slough bounded to the north (upstream) by a line projecting from a regulatory marker on the eastern shore of Karlson Island to the northernmost regulatory marker at the mouth of Blind Slough and bounded to the west (downstream) by a line projecting southerly from a regulatory marker on the southwestern tip of Karlson Island through regulatory markers on the western tips of Minaker Island to a marker on the Oregon shore. The waters of Knappa Slough within a 100-foot radius of the railroad bridge crossing Big Creek are closed.
Prior to May 6, the downstream (western) boundary in Knappa Slough is a north-south line projecting through the easternmost tip of Minaker Island and regulatory markers on Karlson Island and the Oregon shore.
(c) Gear: Gillnets.
Winter season: 7-inch minimum mesh size restriction.
Spring and Summer seasons: 9 3/4-inch maximum mesh size restriction.
The maximum net length is 600 feet (100 fathoms).
There is no lead line weight limit and attachment of additional weight or anchors directly to the lead line is permitted.
(d) Miscellaneous: Permanent transportation rules in effect. In accordance with WACs 220-352-040 and WAC 220-301-010, commercial fishers are expected, and fish dealers are required, to report landings for winter-summer fisheries in Knappa Slough and Blind Slough separately using appropriate zone codes. Fish dealers are requested to keep landings from these two sites separate to aid in sampling.
(3) Allowable Possession: Salmon (except chum), white sturgeon, and shad. A maximum of four white sturgeon with a fork length of 44-50 inches fork length may be possessed or sold by each participating vessel during each calendar week (Sunday through Saturday). The four white sturgeon possession and sales limit includes all Select Area fisheries.
(4) 24-hour quick reporting is in effect for Washington buyers (WAC 220-352-315)). Permanent transportation rules in effect. Oregon buyers are required to submit fish receiving tickets electronically pursuant to OAR 635-006-0210. Unique catch reporting codes have been established for Blind Slough and Knappa Slough to facilitate separation of landings and sampling for winter/spring fisheries.
(5) Multi-Net Rule: Nets not specifically authorized for use in these areas may be onboard a vessel if properly stored (WAC 220-358-030(2)).
(6) Lighted Buoys: Nets that are fished at any time between official sunset and official sunrise must have lighted buoys on both ends of the net unless the net is attached to the boat. If the net is attached to the boat, then one lighted buoy on the opposite end of the net from the boat is required.
Reviser's note: The typographical errors in the above section occurred in the copy filed by the agency and appear in the Register pursuant to the requirements of RCW 34.08.040
Reviser's note: The unnecessary underscoring in the above section occurred in the copy filed by the agency and appears in the Register pursuant to the requirements of RCW 34.08.040
The following section of the Washington Administrative Code is repealed:
Columbia River seasons below Bonneville (19-65)