FISH AND WILDLIFE
[Order 20-72—Filed May 6, 2020, 11:11 a.m., effective May 16, 2020]
Effective Date of Rule: May 16, 2020.
Purpose: This emergency rule is needed to open a hatchery spring Chinook fishery in a portion of the Skagit River, starting May 16.
Citation of Rules Affected by this Order: Repealing WAC 220-312-04000K; and amending WAC 220-312-040.
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: Sufficient numbers of hatchery spring Chinook are forecasted to return to the Skagit River to allow for a harvest fishery. This fishery has been agreed to with comanagers during the 2020 North of Falcon process and will be actively monitored. Should total encounters reach the agreed to threshold, the fishery may close earlier than scheduled.
This fishery is being opened pursuant to the Governor's Proclamation amendment 20-25.2, issued April 27, 2020, indicating that recreational activities including fishing may resume, when and where permitted beginning May 5, 2020.
The governor's proclamation amendment also includes requirements to exclude gatherings with people who are not members of the same household and maintain social distancing for the continued protection of public health and safety. These fishery openings considered that requirement as a basis for the decision to reopen fisheries, but do not incorporate those social distance elements within the regulations themselves. While not imposed in the Washington department of fish and wildlife's fishery rules, they are and remain a requirement of the governor's proclamation. Failure to abide by those social distance requirements could result in increased health risks requiring future fishery closures.
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Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted at the Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's own Initiative: New 1, Amended 0, Repealed 1.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: May 6, 2020.
WAC 220-312-04000KFreshwater exceptions to statewide rules—Puget Sound.
Notwithstanding the provisions of WAC 220-312-040:
Skagit River, from the hwy. 536 bridge (Memorial Hwy. Bridge) in Mt. Vernon to Gilligan Creek:
Salmon; Open May 16 through May 31, 2020. Daily limit 2. Release all salmon other than hatchery Chinook. Night closure in effect.
The following section of the Washington Administrative Code is repealed effective June 1, 2020:
Freshwater exceptions to statewide rules—Puget Sound.