WSR 00-06-099

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

FISH AND WILDLIFE

[ Filed March 1, 2000, 11:49 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 00-01-142.

Purpose: To amend WAC 232-28-272.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 77.12.040.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 77.12.040.

Summary: The amendment provides language changes in general season dates for black bears in GMUs 101-117, 485, and the North Cascades Black Bear Management Unit (BBMU). In GMUs 101-117, the fall season will be shortened and open on the day following Labor Day rather than August 1. In contrast, the fall season will be extended from November 14 to November 30 in the North Cascades BBMU. Finally, hunters who have drawn a deer permit in GMU 485 may harvest a bear.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: The recommendation to shorten the fall black bear season in GMUs 101-117 is the result of overharvest, as indicated by our management guidelines. In that area, the male and female median age fails to meet management goals. The increased harvest likely was the result of the poor berry crop in 1998, which made bears more vulnerable to hunters. The proposed change recommends delaying the opening day by thirty-five days to avoid the ill effects of berry failures in the future. In contrast, an evaluation of the percent female in the harvest and median ages of males and females reveals that additional hunter opportunity exists in the North Cascades BBMU. As such, the proposed change delays the closure of the fall season by about fifteen days. The recommendation to open a limited entry black bear hunt in GMU 485 was proposed by the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe and is supported by regional biologists.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting and Implementation: Dave Brittell, Assistant Director, Wildlife Program, Olympia, (360) 902-2504; and Enforcement: Bruce Bjork, Assistant Director, Enforcement, Olympia, (360) 902-2932.

Name of Proponent: Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, governmental.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: The recommendation reduces the length of the fall black bear season in GMUs 101-117 from ninety-nine to sixty-four days. The purpose of the change is to allow black bear populations in the area to recover from overharvest and will likely reduce the harvest by about 15-30%. The recommendation also increases the length of the fall season from ninety-six to one hundred twenty-two days in the North Cascades BBMU. The purpose of the increase is to provide additional hunter opportunity when appropriate and will likely result in a 5-15% increase in harvest. The new black bear hunt in GMU 485 will increase total bear harvest in the unit by ten-twenty bears and is consistent with the departments cooperative management with the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: See above.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. This rule does not affect small business.

Section 201, chapter 403, Laws of 1995, does not apply to this rule adoption. This rule is not related to the hydraulics code.

Hearing Location: Yakima Convention Center, 10 North 8th Street, Yakima, WA, on April 7-8, 2000, at 8:00 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Debbie Nelson by March 31, 2000, TDD (360) 902-2207, or (360) 902-2267.

Submit Written Comments to: Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Dave Brittell, 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091, fax (360) 902-2162, by March 31, 2000.

Date of Intended Adoption: April 7, 2000.

March 1, 2000

Evan Jacoby

Rules Coordinator



AMENDATORY SECTION [(Amending Order 98-249, filed 12/22/98)]WAC 232-28-272
((1998-99 and 1999-2000)) 2000-2001, 2001-2002, and 2002-2003 Black bear and cougar hunting seasons and regulations.


Black Bear Seasons:


(((1) General Season in Eastern Washington: August 1-November 7, 1999, except September 7-November 7, 1999 in that part of GMU 113 north of the line beginning at the mouth of Mill Creek on the Pend Oreille River; E along Mill Creek to Le Clerc Creek Rd.; N on Le Clerc Creek Rd. to USFS Rd. 1200; E on USFS Rd. 1200 to Pyramid Pass (Colville NF\ID Panhandle NF boundary); E on USFS Rd. 312 to USFS Rd. 658; N on USFS Rd. 658 to USFS Rd. 219; E on USFS Rd. 219 to the state line and in GMUs 145-186.
(2) General Season in Western Washington: August 1-November 15, 1998 and August 1-November 14, 1999, except July 15-November 15, 1998 and July 15-November 14, 1999)) on PLWMAs 401 and 600 and on Long Island where the seasons are September 1-November 15, 1998 and September 1-November 14, 1999.))


Hunt Name 2000 Season Hunt Area
General Eastern Aug. 1-Nov. 5 GMUs 121-142, 203-382, 578, 588
Northeastern Sept. 5-Nov. 5 GMUs 101-117
Blue Mt. Sept. 5-Nov. 5 GMUs 145-154, 162-186
General Western Aug. 1-Nov. 12 GMUs 407-410, 454, 466-520, 524-574, 601-684
North Cascades Aug. 1-Nov. 30 GMUs 418-450, 460
West Side PLWMAs July 15-Nov. 12 PLWMAs 401, 600
Green River* Oct. 7-Oct. 13 GMU 485
Long Island Sept. 1-Nov. 12 Long Island
Hunt Name 2001 Season Hunt Area
General Eastern Aug. 1-Nov. 4 GMUs 121-142, 203-382, 578, 588
Northeastern Sept. 4-Nov. 4 GMUs 101-117
Blue Mt. Sept. 4-Nov. 4 GMUs 145-154, 162-186
General Western Aug. 1-Nov. 11 GMUs 407-410, 454, 466-520, 524-574, 601-684
North Cascades Aug. 1-Nov. 30 GMUs 418-450, 460
West Side PLWMAs July 15-Nov. 11 PLWMAs 401, 600
Green River* Oct. 6-Oct. 12 GMU 485
Long Island Sept. 1-Nov. 11 Long Island
Hunt Name 2002 Season Hunt Area
General Eastern Aug. 1-Nov. 3 GMUs 121-142, 203-382, 578, 588
Northeastern Sept. 3-Nov. 3 GMUs 101-117
Blue Mt. Sept. 3-Nov. 3 GMUs 145-154, 162-186
General Western Aug. 1-Nov. 10 GMUs 407-410, 454, 466-520, 524-574, 601-684
North Cascades Aug. 1-Nov. 30 GMUs 418-450, 460
West Side PLWMAs July 15-Nov. 10 PLWMAs 401, 600
Green River* Oct. 5-Oct. 11 GMU 485
Long Island Sept. 1-Nov. 10 Long Island
* Only hunters with a Green River deer permit may hunt black bear.


License Required
: A valid big game hunting license which includes black bear as a species option is required to hunt black bear. One black bear transport tag is included with a big game hunting license that has black bear as a species option. A second black bear transport tag must be purchased to take a second bear.


Bag Limit: Two (2) black bear per annual hunting season only one of which may be taken in ((Eastern Washington outside of)) the General Eastern Hunt, Northeastern Hunt or Blue Mt. Hunt; Except two (2) black bears may be taken in GMUs ((304, 306, 308 or 316)) 245, 246, 247, or 250.


Hunting Method: Hunters may use any lawful big game modern firearm, archery, or muzzleloader equipment for hunting black bear. The use of hounds and bait to hunt black bear is prohibited statewide.


((GMUs Closed to Bear Hunting: 157 (Mill Creek Watershed), 485 (Green River), and 522 (Loo-wit).))


Harvest Report Cards: All hunters that purchase a big game hunting license which includes black bear as an option are required to fill out and return their black bear harvest report card(s). Successful hunters must complete the report card(s) and return within 10 days after taking an animal. Unsuccessful hunters are required to complete and return their report card(s) within 10 days after the close of the bear season.


Submitting Bear Teeth: Successful bear hunters must submit the black bear premolar tooth located behind the canine tooth of the upper jaw.


Cougar Season:


General Statewide Season: ((August 1, 1998-March 15, 1999 and August 1, 1999-March 15, 2000.)) Aug. 1, 2000-Mar. 15, 2001, Aug. 1, 2001-Mar. 15, 2002, and Aug. 1, 2002-Mar. 15, 2003.


License Required: A valid big game hunting license which includes cougar as a species option is required to hunt cougar.


Bag Limit: Two (2) cougar per annual hunting season. It is unlawful to kill or possess spotted cougar kittens or adult cougars accompanied by spotted kittens.


Tag Information: One cougar transport tag is included with a big game license that has cougar as a species option. A second cougar transport tag must be purchased to take a second cougar.


Hunting Method: Hunters may use any lawful big game modern firearm, archery, or muzzleloader equipment for hunting cougar. Cougar may also be hunted with a .22 caliber centerfire rifle with a mushrooming or expanding type bullet weighing greater than 50 grains. The use of hounds to hunt cougar is prohibited statewide.


((GMUs Closed to Cougar Hunting: 157 (Mill Creek Watershed), 485 (Green River), and 522 (Loo-wit).))


Harvest Report Cards: All hunters that purchase a big game license which includes cougar as a species option are required to fill out and return their cougar harvest report card. Successful hunters must complete the report card and return within 10 days after taking an animal. Unsuccessful hunters are required to complete and return their report card within 10 days after the close of the cougar season.


Cougar Pelt Sealing: Any person who takes a cougar must notify the department within 72 hours of kill (excluding legal state holidays) and provide the hunter's name, date and location of kill, and sex of animal. The raw pelt of a cougar must be sealed by an authorized department employee within five days of the notification of kill. Any person who takes a cougar must present the cougar skull, in such a manner that teeth and biological samples can be extracted, to an authorized department employee at the time of sealing.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 77.12.040. 99-01-138 (Order 98-249), 232-28-272, filed 12/22/98, effective 1/22/99; 98-10-008 (Order 98-57), 232-28-272, filed 4/22/98, effective 5/23/98.]

Reviser's note: The bracketed material preceding the section above was supplied by the code reviser's office.

Reviser's note: RCW 34.05.395 requires the use of underlining and deletion marks to indicate amendments to existing rules. The rule published above varies from its predecessor in certain respects not indicated by the use of these markings.

Reviser's note: The typographical error 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.

Washington State Code Reviser's Office