WSR 00-10-051

EMERGENCY RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

FISH AND WILDLIFE

[ Order 00-56 -- Filed April 26, 2000, 4:31 p.m. ]

Date of Adoption: April 26, 2000.

Purpose: Amend commercial fishing rules.

Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Repealing WAC 220-52-05100A; and amending WAC 220-52-051, 220-52-075, and 220-69-240.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 75.08.080.

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: The provisions of this emergency rule are necessitated by federal court order. The state may not authorize commercial shellfish harvests absent agreed planning or compliance with a process. Agreed plans with applicable tribes have been entered as required by the court order. Such plans have the effect of a federal court order. 898 F. Supp. 1453, 1466, 3.1. Pursuant to RCW 34.04.350 [34.05.350], the need to comply with such federal court orders in the form of allocative management plans constitutes an emergency that requires bypassing the time periods inherent in permanent rule making. The 2000 state/tribal Puget Sound shrimp harvest management plan requires adoption of the harvest seasons and the prohibition on night time fishing contained in this emergency rule. Failure to comply with the conservation and/or allocation requirements of such plans may result in contempt of federal court or failure of all commercial shrimp fishing in a given region addressed by a plan. Under current rules, the spot shrimp quotas established in the 2000 state/tribal Puget Sound shrimp harvest management plan can be far exceeded in one day of fishing. A weekly landing limit for spot shrimp is necessary to reduce risk of overharvest. The additional catch reporting rules are necessary to maintain an orderly fishery, provide the ability to enforce state/tribal plan requirements, and to ensure conservation. Area, time, and depth closures for shellfish pot and shrimp beam trawl fishing were inadvertently omitted from permanent rules during recent housekeeping revisions. There is insufficient time to promulgate 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Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.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 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 3.

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. Effective Date of Rule: Immediately.

April 26, 2000

Evan Jacoby

for Jeff P. Koenings

Director


NEW SECTION
WAC 220-52-05100B
Shrimp fishery--Puget Sound.

Notwithstanding the provisions of WAC 220-52-051, effective immediately until further notice it is unlawful to fish for shrimp for commercial purposes in Puget Sound using shellfish pot gear except as provided for in this section:

(1) All waters of Crustacean Management Regions 1B, 1C, 2, 3, 4, and 6 are open to shellfish pot gear harvest of all shrimp species except spot shrimp from 8:00 a.m. May 1 until further notice, with the following exceptions: Marine Fish-Shellfish Catch and Reporting Areas 23A, and 23B will remain closed until 8:00 a.m. on June 1, 2000.

(2) All waters of Crustacean Management Regions 1A, 1C, 2, 3, 4, and 6 are open to harvest of all shrimp species from 8:00 a.m. on June 1, 2000 until further notice.

(3) It is unlawful to harvest shrimp for commercial purposes using shellfish pot gear in Marine Fish-Shellfish Catch and Reporting Area 26B except in those waters south of a line from West Point to Skiff Point and north of a line from Alki Point to Orchard Point, and in those waters north of the Richmond Beach Park (47 degrees and 46 minutes latitude), south of Edmonds Point, and east of the 100 fathom depth contour.

(4) It is unlawful for the combined total harvest of spot shrimp by a fisher and/or the fisher's alternate operator to exceed 800 pounds per week or to exceed 300 pounds per week from Crustacean Management Regions 2 or 4. Any fisher whose weekly shrimp harvest activity is exclusively limited to Marine Fish-Shellfish Catch and Reporting Areas 23C, 23D, 29, or the western portion of Marine Fish-Shellfish Catch and Reporting Area 23A (west of a line projected true north from the new Dungeness light), or any combination of these areas, shall not be subject to the weekly spot shrimp trip limit for that week. The spot shrimp trip limit accounting week is Monday through Sunday.

(5) It is unlawful to fish for shrimp for commercial purposes in Puget Sound using shellfish pot gear in more than one Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Area per day. Fishers may move all of their shellfish pot gear from one Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Area to another Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Area if a harvest report is made before the shellfish pot gear is moved. The harvest activity report must be made consistent with the provisions of WAC 220-52-075 and must also include the following additional information.

(a) The number of pots being moved to a new area.

(b) The Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Area that pots are being moved to.

(6) It is unlawful to set or pull shellfish pots in one Marine Fish-Shellfish Catch Reporting Area while in possession of shrimp harvested from another Marine Fish-Shellfish Catch Reporting Area except shellfish pots may be set in a new fishing area subsequent to making a report as indicated in Section 5 above.

(7) It is unlawful to fish for shrimp in Puget Sound with beam trawl gear except:

(a) Crustacean management area 1 - Open 8:00 a.m. on May 1 until further notice.

(b) Crustacean management area 3 - Open until further notice.

(8) It is unlawful to fish for shrimp in Puget Sound with beam trawl gear in waters shallower than 100 feet.

(9) It is lawful to fish for shrimp in Puget Sound with beam trawl gear in Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Area 21A only in those waters north and west of a line from the southern tip of Sinclair Island to Carter Point on Lummi Island.

(10) The following restrictions apply to shrimp trawl harvest in Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Area 20A:

(a) Closed in waters east of a line from the southwest corner of Point Roberts to Sandy Point.

(b) Closed in waters shallower than 20 fathoms.

(c) Closed in waters shallower than fifty fathoms from April 16 through July 15.

(11) It is unlawful to harvest shrimp using shellfish pot or shrimp beam trawl gear from one hour after official sunset to one hour before official sunrise.

(12) It is unlawful to fish for shrimp in Puget Sound with shellfish pot or beam trawl gear in Shrimp Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.

(13) It is unlawful to fish for shrimp in Puget Sound with shellfish pot or beam trawl gear in waters of Lopez Sound (22A) south of a line projected east and west from the northern tip of Trump Island until 8:00 a.m. on July 10.

(14) All shrimp taken under this section must be sold to licensed Washington wholesale fish dealers. No fisher may land shrimp without immediate delivery to a licensed wholesale dealer or, if transferred at sea, without transfer to a licensed wholesale dealer.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 220-52-07500A
Shellfish harvest logs.

Notwithstanding the provisions of WAC 220-52-075, effective immediately until further notice, vessel operators engaged in commercial harvest of shrimp from Puget Sound with shellfish pot gear must include the following additional information in their daily telephone harvest report:

(a) The vessel operator's first and last name, and

(b) The total number of pot pulls. The total number of pot pulls is defined as the total number of pots pulled from the water multiplied by the number of times those pots were checked.

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REPEALER

     The following section of the Washington Administrative Code is repealed:
WAC 220-52-05100A Shrimp fishery -- Puget Sound (00-49)

NEW SECTION
WAC 220-69-24000P
Puget Sound shrimp dealer reporting -required information

Notwithstanding the provisions of WAC 220-69-240, effective immediately until further notice: It is unlawful for the original receiver of shrimp other than ghost shrimp taken from Puget Sound to fail to report to the department the previous week's purchases by 10:00 a.m. the following Monday. For harvest in Crustacean Management Regions 1 or 2, reports must be made to the La Conner district office by voice (360) 466-4345 extension 245, or facsimile (360) 466-0515. For harvest in Crustacean Management Regions 3, 4, or 6, reports must be made to the Point Whitney Shellfish Laboratory by voice (360) 796-4601, extension 800, or facsimile (360) 586-8408. All reports must specify the serial numbers of the fish receiving tickets on which the previous week's shrimp were sold, and the total number of pounds caught by gear type, Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Area, and species listed on each ticket.

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Washington State Code Reviser's Office