WSR 97-04-080





[Filed February 5, 1997, 10:50 a.m.]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 96-21-049.

Title of Rule: Commercial fishing rules.

Purpose: Amend sturgeon harvest rules.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 75.08.080.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 75.08.080.

Summary: Set lead line maximum weight. Reduce maximum length for white sturgeon. Restrict carcass permissible length.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: Conserve sturgeon resource.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Evan Jacoby, 1111 Washington Street, Olympia, WA, 902-2930; Implementation: Bruce Crawford, 1111 Washington Street, Olympia, WA, 902-2325; and Enforcement: Ron Swatfigure, 1111 Washington Street, Olympia, WA, 902-2925.

Name of Proponent: Washington State 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: Lead line maximum weight ensures gill nets float. Prevents gear being used as set net. Size limit on sturgeon and carcass length will provide greater recruitment into the breeding population of white sturgeon. Take-home commercial sturgeon adjusted to reflect sport limit.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: Adjust size length for retained sturgeon and sturgeon carcasses, lead line weight, and number of take-home sturgeon.

A small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW.

Small Business Economic Impact Statement

Commercial Sturgeon Rules: WAC 220-20-020, 220-20-021, and 220-33-020.

Description of Reporting, Record Keeping and Other Compliance Measures Required by Proposal: None.

Professional Services Required for Compliance: None.

Costs of Compliance, Including Costs of Equipment, Supplies, Labor and Increased Administrative Costs: None.

Will Compliance Cost Businesses to Lose Sales or Revenue? No. By decreasing the maximum size of white sturgeon to 60 inches, the allowable harvest in the commercial fishery will increase from the 1996 quota of 8,000 fish to 13,500 fish in 1997. This is possible because additional recruitment into the brood stock will occur as both commercial and recreational fishers release white sturgeon greater than 60 inches in length.

Comparison of Costs for the 10% of Businesses that are the Largest Businesses Required to Comply with the Proposed Rule: No additional costs; increased revenue from additional sturgeon sales.

Steps Taken by Agency to Reduce the Costs of the Rule on Small Businesses: No additional costs.

Description of how the Agency will Involve Small Businesses in Rule Development: This rule was discussed at length with industry at the Columbia River Compact meetings. Lead line requirements, size limits and harvest quotas were agreed upon by industry.

List of Industries Required to Comply with this Rule: Columbia River gill net fishers and wholesale fish dealers.

A copy of the statement may be obtained by writing to Evan Jacoby, Rules Coordinator, 600 Capitol Way, Olympia, WA 98501, phone (360) 902-2930, or FAX (360) 902-2942.

Section 201, chapter 403, Laws of 1995, does not apply to this rule adoption. Not hydraulics rules.

Hearing Location: Room 108, Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington Street, Olympia, on March 11, 1997, at 10:00 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Robin Ayers by February 28, 1997, TDD (360) 902-2207, or (360) 902-2933.

Submit Written Comments to: Evan Jacoby, Rules Coordinator, 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501, FAX (360) 902-2942, by March 10, 1997.

Date of Intended Adoption: March 11, 1997.

February 5, 1997

Evan Jacoby

Rules Coordinator

AMENDATORY SECTION (Amending Order 88-86, filed 9/2/88)

WAC 220-33-020 Sturgeon. It is unlawful to fish for sturgeon in the lower Columbia River for commercial purposes or to possess sturgeon taken from those waters for commercial purposes, except as provided in this section:


(1) Gill net gear may be used to fish for sturgeon if it does not exceed 1,500 feet in length along the cork line ((and)), is not constructed of monofilament webbing and does not have a lead line weighing more than two pounds per fathom of net as measured on the cork line. Gill net gear includes trammel nets.

Fishing periods

(2) The lower Columbia River is closed to commercial sturgeon fishing, except as provided by emergency rule of the director. Sturgeon taken incidentally during an open commercial salmon fishing period may be retained for commercial purposes.


(3) Sturgeon ((less than 48 inches or greater than 72 inches in length)) smaller or greater than the size limits provided for in WAC 220-20-020 may not be retained for commercial purposes and shall be returned immediately to the water. All sturgeon in transit must not have the head or tail removed.

(4) A person engaged in commercial fishing may retain two sturgeon of legal commercial length for personal use.

(5) Sturgeon eggs may not be removed from the body cavity of the sturgeon prior to the time the sturgeon is sold to a wholesale dealer licensed under RCW 75.28.300.

(6) The head or tail may not be removed from a sturgeon prior to the time the sturgeon is sold to a wholesale dealer licensed under RCW 75.28.300 and delivered to a fish processing plant.

(7) A sturgeon carcass with head and tail removed and retained at a fish processing plant must be at least 28 inches in length.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 75.08.080. 88-18-066 (Order 88-86), 220-33-020, filed 9/2/88.]

AMENDATORY SECTION (Amending Order 95-166, filed 11/8/95, effective 12/9/95)

WAC 220-20-020 General provisions--Lawful and unlawful acts--Food fish other than salmon. (1) It is unlawful to fish for or possess for commercial purposes any round, undressed white sturgeon less than 48 inches or greater than ((66)) 60 inches in length or any round, undressed green sturgeon less than 48 inches or greater than 66 inches in length.

(2) It is unlawful to fish for or possess for commercial purposes or possess aboard a commercial fishing vessel for any purpose any species of halibut (Hippoglossus) unless permitted by the current regulations of the International Pacific Halibut Commission.

(3) It is unlawful to fish for or possess for commercial purposes sturgeon taken from any of the waters of Puget Sound or tributaries, and any sturgeon taken with any type of commercial gear incidental to a lawful fishery shall immediately be returned to the water unharmed.

(4) It is unlawful to fish for food fish for commercial purposes in the waters of Shilshole Bay inland and inside a line projected in a southwesterly direction from Meadow Point to West Point.

(5) It is unlawful to fish for or possess for commercial purposes any starry flounder less than 14 inches in length taken by any commercial gear, in all Puget Sound Marine Fish-Shellfish Areas.

(6) It shall be unlawful to harvest herring eggs naturally deposited on marine vegetation or other substrate, unless a person has a permit issued by the director.

(7) It is unlawful to fish for or possess food fish other than salmon taken for commercial purposes from the San Juan Islands Marine Preserve, except that it is lawful to take herring.

(8) It is unlawful to fish for or possess food fish other than salmon taken from the Titlow Beach Marine Preserve or the Edmonds Underwater Park.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 75.08.080. 95-23-020 (Order 95-166), 220-20-020, filed 11/8/95, effective 12/9/95; 93-14-042 (Order 93-54), 220-20-020, filed 6/29/93, effective 7/30/93. Statutory Authority: RCW 75.08.080 and 75.28.245. 90-07-003 (Order 90-17), 220-20-020, filed 3/8/90, effective 4/8/90. Statutory Authority: RCW 75.08.080. 90-06-045 (Order 90-15), 220-20-020, filed 3/1/90, effective 4/1/90; 80-09-072 (Order 80-69), 220-20-020, filed 7/18/80; 79-03-014 (Order 79-11), 220-20-020, filed 2/15/79; Order 77-147, 220-20-020, filed 12/16/77; Order 77-14, 220-20-020, filed 4/15/77; Order 76-148, 220-20-020, filed 12/2/76; Order 76-26, 220-20-020, filed 4/20/76; Order 1193-A, 220-20-020, filed 3/5/75; Order 1193, 220-20-020, filed 3/4/75; Order 1143, 220-20-020, filed 8/8/74; Order 1105, 220-20-020, filed 12/28/73; Order 1057, 220-20-020, filed 5/22/73; Order 1045, 220-20-020, filed 3/8/73; Order 988, 220-20-020, filed 4/28/72; Order 920, 220-20-020, filed 5/13/71; Order 862, 220-20-020, filed 4/16/70; Order 817, 220-20-020, filed 5/29/69; Order 810, 220-20-020, filed 4/17/69.]

AMENDATORY SECTION (Amending Order 94-23, filed 5/19/94, effective 6/19/94)

WAC 220-20-021 Sale of commercially caught sturgeon and bottomfish. (1) It shall be unlawful for any person while engaged in commercial fishing for sturgeon or bottom fish to:

(a) Keep in excess of ((two)) one sturgeon ((not less than 48 inches in length nor more than 66 inches in length)) smaller or greater than the size limits provided for in WAC 220-20-020, or more than the equivalent of one limit of sport caught bottom fish for personal use. Any lingcod to be retained for personal use taken east of the mouth of the Sekiu River must be greater than 26 inches in length and may not exceed 40 inches in length.

(b) Sell any sturgeon or bottom fish taken under such license to anyone other than a licensed wholesale dealer within or outside the state of Washington, except that a person who is licensed as a wholesale dealer under the provisions of RCW 75.28.300 may sell to individuals or corporations other than licensed wholesale dealers.

(c) Sell, barter, or attempt to sell or barter sturgeon eggs that have been removed from the body cavity of any sturgeon taken under such license prior to the time that the sturgeon is sold under subsection (1)(b) of this section.

(2) It shall be unlawful for any wholesale dealer licensed under RCW 75.28.300 to purchase or attempt to purchase sturgeon eggs from sturgeon taken by any person licensed to take sturgeon for commercial purposes under chapter 75.28 RCW if the sturgeon eggs have been removed from the body cavity of the sturgeon prior to the sale of the sturgeon.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 75.08.080. 94-12-009 (Order 94-23), 220-20-021, filed 5/19/94, effective 6/19/94; 85-08-023 (Order 85-24), 220-20-021, filed 4/1/85; 82-17-040 (Order 82-105), 220-20-021, filed 8/13/82.]

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