FISH AND WILDLIFE
[Order 19-303—Filed December 9, 2019, 3:32 p.m., effective December 9, 2019, 3:32 p.m.]
Effective Date of Rule: Immediately upon filing.
Purpose: Amend Puget Sound commercial crab rules.
Citation of Rules Affected by this Order: Repealing WAC 220-340-45500Y and 220-352-34000C; and amending WAC 220-340-455 and 220-352-340.
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 rule will open Region 2-East and allow commercial crab harvest in Region 2-East with a maximum of no more than twenty-five pots per license per buoy tag number. This rule also requires fishers to declare their participation in the Region 2-East opening and requires that fishers report pounds of Dungeness crab harvested from Region 2-East each day. It will continue the Puget Sound commercial crab harvest in Regions 2-West, 3-1, 3-2, and 3-3. Pot limits in 2-West, 3-1, 3-2, and 3-3 will remain at fifty pots per license. These provisions are in conformity with agreed management plans with applicable tribes. These management plans are entered into as required by court order. The Puget Sound commercial season is structured to meet harvest allocation objectives negotiated with applicable treaty tribes and outlined in the management plans. 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Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted at the Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's own Initiative: New 2, Amended 0, Repealed 2.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.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: December 9, 2019.
WAC 220-340-45500ZCommercial crab fishery—Seasons and areas—Puget Sound.
Notwithstanding the provisions of WAC 220-340-455:
1) Effective 8:00 am December 10, 2019 until December 14, 2019 at 6:00 pm Crab Management Region 2-East is open to commercial crab harvest. Region 2-East includes Marine Fish-Shellfish Catch Reporting Areas 24A, 24B, 24C, 24D and 26A East.
2) Effective 8:00 am December 10, 2019, until further notice, it is unlawful for any license holder or alternate operator to fish for crabs for commercial purposes with more than 25 pots per license per buoy tag number in Crab Management Region 2-East.
3) Effective immediately, until further notice, it is unlawful for any license holder or alternate operator to fish for crabs for commercial purposes with more than 50 pots per license per buoy tag number in Crab Management Region 2-West, Region 3-1, Region 3-2, or Region 3-3. These regions include Marine Fish-Shellfish Catch Reporting Areas 20A, 20B, 21A, 21B, 22A, 22B, 26A West, 25B, 25D, 25A, 25E, 23D, 23C and 29.
4) All remaining buoy tags per license must be onboard the designated vessel and available for immediate inspection.
5) Effective immediately until further notice, the following areas are closed to commercial crab fishing:
(a) That portion of Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Area 25A west of the 123°7.0' longitude line projected from the new Dungeness light due south to the shore of Dungeness Bay.
(b) That portion of Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Area 23D west of a line from the eastern tip of Ediz Hook to the ITT Rayonier Dock.
WAC 220-352-34000CPuget Sound crab—Additional reporting requirements.
Notwithstanding the provisions of WAC 220-352-340:
1) Non-treaty commercial fishers that intend to harvest in Crab Management Region 2-East must declare intent to fish by 5:00 pm on December 9, 2019 by leaving text message to (360) 302-6372, or sending an email to Crab.Report@dfw.wa.gov, detailing the following information:
(a) Vessel Name
(b) Name and permit number(s) of licensed owner
(c) Name of designated primary operator if different from licensed owner
2) Non-treaty commercial fishers operating in Crab Management Region 2 East must report pounds of Dungeness crab landed by 8:00 pm the day of harvest. The vessel owner or operator must leave a text message to (360) 302-6372, or send an email to Crab.Report@dfw.wa.gov, detailing the following information:
(a) Vessel Name and Vessel Registration Number
(b) Pounds of Dungeness crab landed
(c) Crab Management Area fished
3) It is unlawful for any wholesale dealer acting in the capacity of an original receiver of Dungeness crab taken by non-treaty fishers from Puget Sound to fail to report to the department the previous day's purchases by 10:00 a.m. the following day. Reports must be made by fax to (435) 338-1066 or by e-mail at email@example.com, and must specify the dealer name, dealer phone number, date of delivery of crab to the original receiver, and the total number of pounds of crab caught by non-treaty fishers, by Crab Management Region or by Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Area.
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 sections of the Washington Administrative Code are repealed:
Commercial crab fishery—Seasons and areas—Puget Sound. (19-279)
Puget Sound crab—Additional reporting requirements. (19-236)