WSR 03-13-086

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

FISH AND WILDLIFE

[ Filed June 16, 2003, 2:32 p.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 03-03-125.

Title of Rule: Personal use fishing rules.

Purpose: Amend personal use sturgeon limits.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 77.12.047.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 77.12.047.

Summary: Reduce current annual limit from ten sturgeon to five sturgeon.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: Provide additional recreational fishing opportunity.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Evan Jacoby, 1111 Washington Street, Olympia, 902-2930; Implementation: Phil Anderson, 1111 Washington Street, Olympia, 902-2720; and Enforcement: Bruce Bjork, 1111 Washington Street, Olympia, 902-2373.

Name of Proponent: 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: Most recreational sturgeon fishing occurs below Bonneville Dam. There are two areas managed separately, and the division is at Cathlamet. Approximately 7% of the sturgeon anglers catch more than five fish. By reducing the annual limit to five fish, it is anticipated to achieve two additional fishing days below Cathlamet and ten to fifteen additional fishing days above Cathlamet. This is additional recreational opportunity for the retention fishery.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: Change sturgeon annual limit.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. This rule affects recreational anglers, not small businesses.

RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to this rule adoption. Not hydraulics rules.

Hearing Location: Hampton Inn/Fox Hall, 3985 Bennett Drive, Bellingham, WA 98225, on August 1-2, 2003, begins at 8:00 a.m. on August 1, 2003.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Susan Yeager by July 18, 2003, TDD (360) 902-2207 or (360) 902-2267.

Submit Written Comments to: Evan Jacoby, 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091, fax (360) 902-2155, by July 25, 2003.

Date of Intended Adoption: August 1, 2003.

June 16, 2003

Evan Jacoby

Rules Coordinator

OTS-6417.1


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 02-53, filed 3/29/02, effective 5/1/02)

WAC 220-56-282   Sturgeon -- Areas, seasons, limits and unlawful acts.   (1) It is lawful to fish for sturgeon the entire year in saltwater and open in freshwater concurrent with a salmon or gamefish opening unless otherwise provided, except:

(a) It is unlawful to fish for sturgeon from a floating device May 1 through July 15 downstream from the boating deadline below Bonneville Dam to markers on the Oregon and Washington shores of the Columbia River at Beacon Rock;

(b) It is unlawful to fish for sturgeon inside the south navigation lock at Bonneville Dam from a marker on the westernmost point of Robins Island to a marker on the Oregon mainland shore; and

(c) It is unlawful to fish for sturgeon in those waters of the Columbia River between the upstream line of Bonneville Dam and the lowermost Bonneville power line crossing, except when fishing with hand-casted hook and line gear from the mainland shore downstream of a line from a fishing boundary on the Washington shore approximately three-quarters of a mile below the dam to the downstream end of Cascade Island, thence to the Oregon fishing boundary marker on Bradford Island, located approximately 850 feet downstream from the fish ladder entrance.

(2) The daily limit is one sturgeon, with the following size restrictions:

(a) Minimum size 48 inches in length in the Columbia River and tributaries upstream from The Dalles Dam.

(b) Minimum size 42 inches in length in all other state waters.

(c) Maximum size 60 inches in length.

Once the daily limit has been retained, it is lawful to continue to fish for sturgeon in the mainstem of the Columbia River downstream from where the river forms the boundary between Oregon and Washington, provided that all subsequent sturgeon are released immediately.

(3) The possession limit is two daily limits of fresh, frozen or processed sturgeon.

(4) There is an annual personal use limit of ((ten)) five sturgeon from April 1 through March 31, regardless of where the sturgeon were taken. After the annual limit of sturgeon has been taken, it is lawful to continue to fish for sturgeon in the mainstem Columbia River downstream from where the river forms the common boundary between Oregon and Washington, provided that all subsequent sturgeon are released immediately.

(5) It is unlawful to fish for sturgeon with terminal gear other than bait and single barbless hooks. It is lawful to use artificial scent with bait when fishing for sturgeon.

(6) It is unlawful to fish for or possess sturgeon taken for personal use from freshwater, except the Chehalis River, from one hour after official sunset to one hour before official sunrise.

(7) It is unlawful to possess in the field sturgeon eggs without having retained the intact carcass of the fish from which the eggs have been removed.

(8) It is unlawful to use a gaff or other fish landing aid that penetrates the fish while restraining, handling or landing a sturgeon.

(9) It is unlawful to fail to immediately return to the water any undersize sturgeon.

(10) It is unlawful to totally or partially remove oversize sturgeon from the water.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 77.12.047. 02-08-048 (Order 02-53), 220-56-282, filed 3/29/02, effective 5/1/02; 01-06-036 (Order 01-24), 220-56-282, filed 3/5/01, effective 5/1/01. Statutory Authority: RCW 75.08.080. 95-04-066 (Order 95-10), 220-56-282, filed 1/30/95, effective 5/1/95; 91-08-054 (Order 91-13), 220-56-282, filed 4/2/91, effective 5/3/91; 90-06-026, 220-56-282, filed 2/28/90, effective 3/31/90; 89-07-060 (Order 89-12), 220-56-282, filed 3/16/89.]

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