FISH AND WILDLIFE
Effective Date of Rule: August 2, 2007, 7:00 p.m.
Purpose: The purpose of this rule making is to allow fishing opportunity in the Columbia River while protecting salmon listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act. This rule making implements federal court orders governing Washington's relationship with treaty Indian tribes, federal law governing Washington's relationship with Oregon, and Washington fish and wildlife commission policy guidance for Columbia River fisheries.
Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Repealing WAC 220-33-01000K; and amending WAC 220-33-010.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 77.04.130, 77.12.045, and 77.12.047.
Other Authority: United States v. Oregon, Civil No. 68-513-KI (D. Or.), Order Adopting 2005-2007 Interim Management Agreement For Upriver Chinook, Sockeye, Steelhead, Coho & White Sturgeon (May 11, 2005) (Doc. No. 2407); Northwest Gillnetters Ass'n v. Sandison, 95 Wn.2d 638, 628 P.2d 800 (1981); Washington fish and wildlife commission policies concerning Columbia River fisheries; 40 Stat. 515 (Columbia River compact).
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: Sets the initial early fall commercial fishing period for 2007. Season is consistent with the 2005-2007 interim management agreement, the 2007 non-Indian allocation agreement and commercial sturgeon harvest guidelines adopted for 2007. Regulation is consistent with compact action of July 26, 2007. There is insufficient time to promulgate permanent rules.
Washington and Oregon jointly regulate Columbia River fisheries under the congressionally ratified Columbia River compact. Four Indian tribes have treaty fishing rights in the Columbia River. The treaties preempt state regulations that fail to allow the tribes an opportunity to take a fair share of the available fish, and the states must manage other fisheries accordingly. Sohappy v. Smith, 302 F. Supp. 899 (D. Or. 1969). A federal court order sets the current parameters for sharing between treaty Indians and others. United States v. Oregon, Civil No. 68-513-KI (D. Or.), Order Adopting 2005-2007 Interim Management Agreement For Upriver Chinook, Sockeye, Steelhead, Coho & White Sturgeon (May 11, 2005) (Doc. No. 2407).
Some Columbia River Basin salmon and steelhead stocks are listed as threatened or endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act. The National Marine Fisheries Service has issued biological opinions under 16 U.S.C. § 1536 that allow for some incidental take of these species in treaty and nontreaty Columbia River fisheries. The Washington and Oregon fish and wildlife commissions have developed policies to guide the implementation of these biological opinions in the states' regulation of nontreaty fisheries. Columbia River nontreaty fisheries are monitored very closely to ensure compliance with federal court orders, the Endangered Species Act, and commission guidelines. Because conditions change rapidly, the fisheries are managed almost exclusively by emergency rule. Representatives from the Washington (WDFW) and Oregon (ODFW) departments of fish and wildlife convene public hearings and take public testimony when considering proposals for new emergency rules. WDFW and ODFW then adopt regulations reflecting agreements reached.
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 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: July 31 , 2007.
J. P. Koenings
1. AREA: SMCRA 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, and 1E
a. 7:00 p.m. Thursday August 2 to 7:00 a.m. Friday August 3
b. 7:00 p.m. Monday August 6 to 7:00 a.m. Tuesday August 7
c. 7:00 p.m. Thursday August 9 to 7:00 a.m. Friday August 10
3. GEAR: Drift gill nets only. 9-inch minimum mesh and 9-3/4 inch maximum mesh
a. In the Columbia River downstream of Bonneville Dam and in the Select Areas (described in WAC 220-22-010(9)), a person may have onboard a commercial fishing vessel more than one licensed net, in as long as the net or nets are of legal size for the fishery, or the net has a minimum mesh size of 9 inches, and the length of any one net does not exceed 1,500 feet in length.
b. Nets not lawful for use at that time and area may be onboard the boat if properly stored. A "properly stored" net is defined as a net on a drum that is fully covered by tarp (canvas or plastic) and bound with a minimum of ten revolutions of rope with a diameter of 3/8 (0.375) inches or greater.
4. ALLOWABLE SALE: Salmon and white sturgeon.
a. A maximum of twelve white sturgeon may be possessed or sold by each participating vessel during each calendar week (Sunday through Saturday) that the fishery is open.
b. The sturgeon possession/sales limit includes only mainstem fisheries.
c. Green sturgeon retention is prohibited.
d. It is unlawful to fail to return immediately to the water any sturgeon taken in excess of any commercial catch or possession limits prescribed by the Department rule
5. SANCTUARIES: Grays River, Elokomin-A, Cowlitz River, Kalama-A, Lewis-A, Washougal and Sandy Rivers.
6. OTHER: Quick reporting required for Washington wholesale dealers, WAC 220-69-240. When quick reporting is required, Columbia River reports must be submitted within 24 hours of closure of the designated fishery.
The following section of the Washington Administrative Code is repealed effective 7:01 a.m. August 10, 2007:
|WAC 220-33-01000K||Columbia River season below Bonneville.|