WSR 03-13-115

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

FISH AND WILDLIFE

[ Filed June 18, 2003, 9:25 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 03-09-120.

Purpose: Amend WAC 232-16-600 North Potholes Game Reserve, 232-16-660 Frenchmen Hills Wasteway Game Reserve, 232-16-740 Columbia, Snake, and Yakima River waterfowl, coot, and snipe closures; adopting WAC 232-28-427 2003-04 Migratory waterfowl seasons and regulations; and repealing WAC 232-28-426 2002-03 Migratory waterfowl seasons and regulations.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 77.12.047.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 77.12.047.

Summary: WAC 232-16-600 and 232-16-660, the amendment clarifies language in the existing WAC to update boundaries to current map designations and landmarks, while maintaining reserve boundaries similar to past descriptions.

WAC 232-16-740, the amendment would open approximately ten river miles of uplands along the Columbia River near the Umatilla National Wildlife Refuge to waterfowl hunting, and open approximately thirty river miles of the Snake River and associated uplands on Ice Harbor Pool (Lake Sacajawea) to waterfowl hunting. Low numbers of waterfowl currently use these closure areas. The amendment is intended to provide additional limited waterfowl hunting opportunity without affecting current regional waterfowl distribution on the Columbia and Snake rivers.

WAC 232-28-427, this WAC specifies legal season dates, bag limits, and open areas to hunt waterfowl for the 2003-04 hunting season.

WAC 232-28-426, this proposed action repeals an obsolete WAC.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: WAC 232-16-600 and 232-16-660, outdated boundary descriptions in the current WAC make enforcement of this rule more difficult.

WAC 232-16-740, low numbers of waterfowl currently use these closure areas. The amendment is intended to provide additional limited waterfowl hunting opportunity without affecting current regional waterfowl distribution on the Columbia and Snake rivers.

WAC 232-28-427, waterfowl seasons and regulations are developed based on cooperative management programs among states of the Pacific Flyway and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, considering population status and other biological parameters.

WAC 232-28-426, avoid contradictions with existing regulations and meet intent of current WAC.

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

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

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

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: WAC 232-16-600 and 232-16-660, the amendment clarifies language in the existing WAC to update boundaries to current map designations and landmarks, while maintaining reserve boundaries similar to past descriptions. Outdated boundary descriptions in the current WAC make enforcement of this rule more difficult.

WAC 232-16-740, low numbers of waterfowl currently use these closure areas. The amendment is intended to provide additional limited waterfowl hunting opportunity without affecting current regional waterfowl distribution on the Columbia and Snake rivers.

WAC 232-28-427, the rule establishes waterfowl seasons and regulations to provide recreational opportunity, control waterfowl damage, and conserve the waterfowl resources of Washington.

WAC 232-28-426, this proposed action repeals an outdated WAC and eliminates contradictions with current WAC.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: See Summary above.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. These rules regulate recreational hunters and do not directly regulate small business.

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

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

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Susan Yeager by July 25, 2003, TDD (360) 902-2207 or (360) 902-2267.

Submit Written Comments to: Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Attn: Dave Brittell, 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091, fax (360) 902-2162, by July 14, 2003.

Date of Intended Adoption: August 1, 2003.

June 18, 2003

Evan Jacoby

Rules Coordinator


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 141, filed 8/31/79)

WAC 232-16-600   North Potholes Game Reserve.   Those lands in Grant County within the following described boundary: In T19N, ((R27 EWM)) R27E WM; the N.E. 1/4 of Section 32, and the N.E. 1/4 S.E. 1/4 of Section 32, all of Section 33, except the S.W. 1/4 S.W. 1/4, and all of Section 34.

In T18N, ((R27 EWM)) R27E WM; all of Section 4, except the N.W. 1/4 and the N.W. 1/4 N.E. 1/4((,)) ; all of Section 3; ((and)) that part of Section 10 north of the Job Corps Dike Rd;((, and)) that part of Section 9 east of the fenceline, beginning at the N.W. corner of Section 9, and then following said fenceline southeasterly to the fence on the northern section line of Section 16 near Job Corps Dike Road;((. The east half of the N.E. 1/4 of Section 16. And that part of Section 15 lying north of a line starting from the northeast corner and running southwesterly to the midpoint of the west section line of said section.)) those portions of sections 15 and 16 north of the above mentioned fence to the west end of the Job Corps Dike; and that part of Section 15 north of the Job Corps Dike Road.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 77.12.040. 79-09-082 (Order 141), 232-16-600, filed 8/31/79.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 217, filed 9/1/83)

WAC 232-16-660   Frenchmen Hills Wasteway Game Reserve.   It shall be unlawful to hunt wild animals and wild birds within the following described boundary: T17N, R27E, the north 1/2, ((of)) and the north 1/2 of south 1/2 of Section 17. ((640)) 480 acres.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 77.12.040. 83-18-043 (Order 217), 232-16-660, filed 9/1/83.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 97-163, filed 8/25/97, effective 9/25/97)

WAC 232-16-740   Columbia, Snake, and Yakima River waterfowl, coot, and snipe closures.   It shall be unlawful to hunt migratory waterfowl, coot and jacksnipe on or within the following described areas:

Section 1. Waters and land below the mean high water mark of Bachelor Island Slough of the Columbia River in Clark County. Bachelor Island Slough is further defined as those waters starting at the south end of the slough at its confluence with the Columbia river, running north along the eastern shore of Bachelor Island to the confluence with Lake River.

Section 2. Klickitat County - the Columbia River and those lands lying within one-quarter mile of the Columbia River upstream from the railroad bridge at Wishram to the grain elevator at Roosevelt.

Section 3. The Columbia River ((and those lands lying within one-quarter mile of the Columbia River)) and its islands between the mouth of Glade Creek (river channel marker 57) and the old town site of ((Patterson)) Paterson (river channel marker 67), except the hunting of game birds is permitted from the main shoreline of the Columbia River in this area.

Section 4. The Columbia River and those lands lying within one-quarter mile of the Columbia River between the old Hanford townsite (Wooden Tower) powerline crossing in Section 30, T13N, R28E, to Vernita Bridge (Highway 24).

Section 5. The Columbia River between the public boat launch at Sunland Estates (Wanapum Pool) and a point perpendicular in Kittitas County; upstream to the posted marker 200 yards north of Quilomene Bay and a point perpendicular in Grant County, including islands.

Section 6. The Snake River and those lands within one-quarter mile of the Snake River, between the U.S. Highway 12 bridge near Burbank, upstream to ((Lower Monumental Dam)) Navigation Marker #5 near Levey Park (Ice Harbor Pool) and a point perpendicular in Walla Walla County.

Section 7. The Yakima River and those lands lying within one-fourth mile of the Yakima River from the Sunnyside-Mabton Road bridge downstream to the Euclid Road bridge (4 miles).

Section 8. The Yakima River and those lands lying within one-fourth mile of the Yakima River from the Grant Avenue bridge (steel bridge) north of Prosser downstream 2-1/2 miles, to the powerline.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 77.12.040. 97-18-023 (Order 97-163), 232-16-740, filed 8/25/97, effective 9/25/97. Statutory Authority: RCW 77.12.040 and 77.12.010. 96-18-005 (Order 96-123), 232-16-740, filed 8/22/96, effective 9/22/96.]


NEW SECTION
WAC 232-28-427   2003-04 Migratory waterfowl seasons and regulations  


DUCKS


Statewide


Oct. 11-15, 2003 and Oct. 18, 2003 - Jan. 25, 2004.


Special youth hunting weekend open only to hunters 15 years of age or under (must be accompanied by an adult at least 18 years old who is not hunting): Sept. 20-21, 2003.


Daily bag limit: 7 ducks, to include not more than 2 hen mallards, 1 pintail, 4 scaup, 2 redheads, 1 harlequin, 4 scoters, and 4 oldsquaws.

Possession limit: 14 ducks, to include not more than 4 hen mallards, 2 pintails, 8 scaup, 4 redheads, 1 harlequin, 8 scoters, and 8 oldsquaws.


COOT (Mudhen)


Same areas, dates (including youth hunting weekend), and shooting hours as the general duck season.


Daily bag limit: 25 coots.

Possession limit: 25 coots.


COMMON SNIPE


Same areas, dates (except youth hunting weekend), and shooting hours as the general duck season.


Daily bag limit: 8 snipe.

Possession limit: 16 snipe.


GEESE (except Brant and Aleutian Canada geese)


Special youth hunting weekend open only to hunters 15 years of age or under (must be accompanied by an adult at least 18 years old who is not hunting): Sept. 20-21, 2003, statewide except Western Washington Goose Management Areas 2A and 2B.


Daily bag limit: 4 Canada geese.

Possession limit: 8 Canada geese.


Western Washington Goose Seasons


Goose Management Area 1

Island, Skagit, Snohomish counties.


Oct. 11, 2003 - Jan. 4, 2004 for snow, Ross', or blue geese.

Oct. 11-23, 2003 and Nov. 1, 2003 - Jan. 25, 2004 for other geese (except Brant and Aleutian Canada geese).


Daily bag limit: 4 geese, to include not more than 3 snow, Ross', or blue geese.

Possession limit: 8 geese, to include not more than 6 snow, Ross', or blue geese.


WRITTEN AUTHORIZATION REQUIRED TO HUNT SNOW GEESE. All persons hunting snow geese in this season are required to obtain a written authorization and harvest report from the Washington department of fish and wildlife. Hunters who held a 2002-03 authorization and returned the harvest report prior to the deadline will be mailed a 2003-04 authorization in early October. Hunters who did not possess a 2002-03 authorization or hunters who do not have a WILD ID number must fill out an application (available at Washington department of fish and wildlife, Olympia and regional offices). Application forms must be delivered to a department office no later than September 25 or postmarked on or before September 25 in order for applicants to be mailed a 2003-04 authorization before the season starts. No applications will be accepted after October 31, 2003. Immediately after taking a snow goose into possession, hunters must record in ink the information required on the harvest report. Return of the harvest report is mandatory. By January 31, 2004, hunters must return the harvest report to the Washington department of fish and wildlife, or report harvest information on the department's Internet reporting system. Hunters failing to comply with reporting requirements will be ineligible to participate in the 2004-05 snow goose season.


Goose Management Area 2A

Cowlitz and Wahkiakum counties, and that part of Clark County north of the Washougal River.


Open in all areas of Area 2A except Ridgefield NWR on the following days from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.: Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays only, Dec. 9, 2003 - Jan. 24, 2004, except closed Dec. 25, 2003 and Jan. 1, 2004. Ridgefield NWR open on the following days from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.: Saturdays, Mondays, and Wednesdays only, Dec. 13, 2003 - Jan. 24, 2004.


Goose Management Area 2B

Pacific and Grays Harbor counties.


Open on the following days from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.: Saturdays and Wednesdays only, Nov. 15, 2003 - Jan. 4, 2004.


Bag limits for Goose Management Areas 2A and 2B:

Daily bag limit: 4 geese, to include not more than 1 dusky Canada goose, and not more than 3 snow, Ross', or blue geese.

Possession limit: 8 geese, to include not more than 1 dusky Canada goose, and not more than 6 snow, Ross', or blue geese.

Season limit: 1 dusky Canada goose.

A dusky Canada goose is defined as a dark-breasted (as shown in the Munsell color chart 10 YR, 5 or less) Canada goose with a culmen (bill) length of 40-50 mm.


Special Provisions for Goose Management Areas 2A and 2B:

The Canada goose season for Goose Management Areas 2A and 2B will be closed early if dusky Canada goose harvests exceed area quotas which collectively total 80 geese. The fish and wildlife commission has authorized the director to implement emergency area closures in accordance with the following quotas: A total of 80 duskys, to be distributed 10 for Zone 1 (Ridgefield NWR); 25 for Zone 2 (Cowlitz County south of the Kalama River); 20 for Zone 3 (Clark County except Ridgefield NWR); 10 for Zone 4 (Cowlitz County north of the Kalama River and Wahkiakum County); 10 for Zone 5 (Pacific County); and 5 for Zone 6 (Grays Harbor County). Quotas may be shifted to other zones during the season to optimize use of the statewide quota and minimize depredation.


Hunting is only permitted by written authorization from the Washington department of fish and wildlife. Hunters who maintained a valid 2002-03 written authorization will be mailed a 2003-04 authorization card prior to the 2003-04 season. New hunters, hunters who do not have a WILD ID number, and those who did not maintain a valid 2002-03 authorization must review goose identification training materials and score a minimum of 80% on a goose identification test to receive written authorization. Hunters who fail a test must wait 28 days before retesting, and will not be issued a reciprocal authorization until that time. Information on training materials and testing dates/locations is available at the Olympia and regional offices.


With written authorization, hunters will receive a harvest report. Hunters must carry the authorization card and harvest report while hunting. Immediately after taking a Canada goose (dusky, lesser/Taverner, cackling, or other subspecies) into possession, hunters must record in ink the information required on the harvest report. Hunters must go directly to the nearest check station and have geese tagged when leaving a hunt site, before 6:00 p.m. If a hunter takes the season bag limit of one dusky Canada goose or does not comply with requirements listed above regarding checking of birds and recording harvest on the harvest report, written authorization will be invalidated and the hunter will not be able to hunt Canada geese in Goose Management Areas 2A and 2B for the remainder of the season and the special late Canada goose season. It is unlawful to fail to comply with all provisions listed above for Goose Management Areas 2A and 2B.


Special Late Canada Goose Season for Goose Management Areas 2A and 2B

Open to Washington department of fish and wildlife advanced hunter education (AHE) program graduates and youth hunters (15 years of age or under, who are accompanied by an AHE hunter) possessing a valid 2003-04 southwest Washington Canada goose hunting authorization, in areas with goose damage in Goose Management Areas 2A and 2B on the following days, from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.:


Saturdays, Sundays, and Wednesdays, Jan. 31 - Mar. 10, 2004.


Daily bag limit: 4 Canada geese, to include not more than 1 dusky Canada goose.

Possession limit: 8 Canada geese, to include not more than 1 dusky Canada goose.

Season limit: 1 dusky Canada goose.

A dusky Canada goose is defined as a dark-breasted Canada goose (as shown in the Munsell color chart 10 YR, 5 or less) with a culmen (bill) length of 40-50 mm.


Hunters qualifying for the season will be placed on a list for participation in this hunt. Washington department of fish and wildlife will assist landowners with contacting qualified hunters to participate in damage control hunts on specific lands incurring goose damage. Participation in this hunt will depend on the level of damage experienced by landowners. The special late Canada goose season will be closed by emergency action if the harvest of dusky Canada geese exceeds 85 for the regular and late seasons. All provisions listed above for Goose Management Areas 2A and 2B regarding written authorization, harvest reporting, and checking requirements also apply to the special late season; except hunters must confirm their participation at least 24 hours in advance by calling the goose hunting hotline (listed on hunting authorization), and hunters must check out by 5:00 p.m. on each hunt day regardless of success. It is unlawful to fail to comply with all provisions listed above for the special late season in Goose Management Areas 2A and 2B.


Goose Management Area 3

Includes all parts of Western Washington not included in Goose Management Areas 1, 2A, and 2B.


Oct. 11-23, 2003 and Nov. 1, 2003 - Jan. 25, 2004


Daily bag limit: 4 geese, to include not more than 3 snow, Ross', or blue geese.

Possession limit: 8 geese, to include not more than 6 snow, Ross', or blue geese.


Eastern Washington Goose Seasons


Goose Management Area 4

Adams, Benton, Chelan, Douglas, Franklin, Grant, Kittitas, Lincoln, Okanogan, Spokane, and Walla Walla counties.


Oct. 11-13, 2003, and Saturdays, Sundays, and Wednesdays only during Oct. 18, 2003 - Jan. 18, 2004; Nov. 11, 27, and 28, 2003; Dec. 25, 2003; Jan. 1, 2004; and every day Jan. 19-25, 2004.


Goose Management Area 5

Includes all parts of Eastern Washington not included in Goose Management Area 4.


Oct. 11-13, 2003, every day from Oct. 18, 2003 - Jan. 25, 2004.


Bag limits for all Eastern Washington Goose Management Areas:

Daily bag limit: 4 geese, to include not more than 3 snow, Ross', or blue geese.

Possession limit: 8 geese, to include not more than 6 snow, Ross', or blue geese.


BRANT


Open in Skagit and Pacific counties only on the following dates:


Nov. 22, 23, 25, 27, and 28, 2003.

Jan. 17, 18, 21, 24, and 25, 2004.


If the 2003-04 preseason wintering brant population in Skagit County is below 6,000 (as determined by the winter survey in late December/early January), the January 2004 brant season in Skagit County will be canceled.


WRITTEN AUTHORIZATION REQUIRED: All hunters participating in this season are required to obtain a written authorization and harvest report from the Washington department of fish and wildlife. Hunters who held a 2002-03 authorization and reported harvest prior to the deadline will be mailed a 2003-04 authorization in November. Hunters who did not possess a 2002-03 authorization or hunters who do not have a WILD ID number must fill out an application (available at Washington department of fish and wildlife regional offices). Application forms must be delivered to a department office no later than 5:00 p.m. on November 8, or postmarked on or before November 8, after which applicants will be mailed a 2003-04 authorization. Late applications will not be accepted. Immediately after taking a brant into possession, hunters must record in ink the information required on the harvest report. Return of the harvest report is mandatory. By January 31, 2004, hunters must return the harvest report to the Washington department of fish and wildlife, or report harvest information on the department's Internet reporting system. Hunters failing to comply with reporting requirements will be ineligible to participate in the 2004-05 brant season.


Bag limits for Skagit and Pacific counties:


Daily bag limit: 2 brant.

Possession limit: 4 brant.


ALEUTIAN CANADA GEESE AND SWANS


Season closed statewide.


FALCONRY SEASONS


DUCKS, COOTS, AND SNIPE (Falconry)

(Bag limits include geese and mourning doves.)


Oct. 11-15, 2003 and Oct. 18, 2003 - Jan. 25, 2004, statewide.


Daily bag limit: 3, straight or mixed bag with geese and mourning doves during established seasons.

Possession limit: 6, straight or mixed bag with geese and mourning doves during established seasons.


GEESE (Falconry)

(Bag limits include ducks, coot, snipe, and mourning doves.)


Goose Management Area 1: Oct. 11, 2003 - Jan. 4, 2004.

Goose Management Area 2A: Dec. 9, 2003 - Jan. 24, 2004 and Jan. 31 - Mar. 10, 2004.

Goose Management Area 2B: Nov. 15, 2003 - Jan. 4, 2004 and Jan. 31 - Mar. 10, 2004.

Goose Management Areas 3, 4, and 5: Oct. 11-13, 2003, and Nov. 1, 2003 - Jan. 25, 2004.


Daily bag limit for all areas: 3 geese (except brant and Aleutian Canada geese), straight or mixed bag with ducks, coots, snipe, and mourning doves during established seasons.

Possession limit for all areas: 6 geese (except brant and Aleutian Canada geese), straight or mixed bag with ducks, coots, snipe, and mourning doves during established seasons.

[]


REPEALER

     The following section of the Washington Administrative Code is repealed:
WAC 232-28-426 2002-03 Migratory waterfowl seasons and regulations

Legislature Code Reviser 

Register

Washington State Code Reviser's Office