WSR 07-18-078

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

FISH AND WILDLIFE

[ Filed September 4, 2007, 2:32 p.m. ]

Original Notice.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: WAC 220-56-255 Bottomfish protection in coastal recreational fisheries.

Hearing Location(s): WDFW's Region 6 Office, 48 Devonshire Road, Montesano, WA 98563, (360) 249-1202, on Tuesday, October 9, 2007, at 10 a.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: On or after October 9, 2007.

Submit Written Comments to: Rules Coordinator, 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091, e-mail preuslmp@dfw.wa.gov, fax (360) 902-2155, by October 8, 2007.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Susan Yeager, TTY (360) 902-2207 or (360) 902-2267.

Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: The intent of these rules is to comply with federal fishing regulations adopted by the National Marine Fisheries Service on April 18, 2007, (72 F.R. 19390). The purpose of these rules is to provide protection for overfished rockfish. Action will minimize bycatch of overfished rockfish in offshore waters, and provide for increased survivability of released rockfish.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: These rules incorporate the recommendations of the Pacific Fishery Management Council for the rebuilding of overfished rockfish stocks--primarily canary and yelloweye rockfish--and are necessary to ensure that the state of Washington stays within its harvest targets for canary and yelloweye rockfish. Absent these restrictions, the department would likely have to constrain recreational halibut and bottomfish fisheries even further to comply with the federal rebuilding plans for canary and yelloweye rockfish. Public input was sought and obtained through a series of department-sponsored meetings and through the council's deliberation process.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 77.12.047 and 77.04.020.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 77.12.047 and 77.04.020.

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

Name of Proponent: Washington department of fish and wildlife, governmental.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Heather Reed, 48 Devonshire Road, Montesano, (360) 249-1202; Implementation: Michele Culver, 48 Devonshire Road, Montesano, (360) 249-1211; and Enforcement: Bruce Bjork, 1111 Washington Street, Olympia, (360) 902-2373.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. These rules apply to recreational fishermen, not commercial fishermen. Also, the Pacific Fisheries Management Council and the National Marine Fisheries Service did a full economic analysis as part of National Environmental Policy Act requirements. A copy of the analysis is available on the council's web site at http://www.pcouncil.org/groundfish/gfspex/gfxpex07-08.html.

A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. These proposals do not affect hydraulics.

September 4, 2007

Loreva M. Preuss

Rules Coordinator

OTS-9811.2


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 06-199, filed 8/10/06, effective 9/10/06)

WAC 220-56-255   Halibut -- Seasons -- Daily and possession limits.   (1) It is unlawful to fish for or possess halibut taken for personal use except from the areas or in excess of the amounts provided for in this section:

(a) Catch Record Card Area 1: Open May 1 through September 30. By-catch restriction: It is unlawful during any vessel trip to bring into port or land bottomfish except sablefish if the vessel has brought halibut into port or landed halibut.

(b) Catch Record Card Area 2:

(i) Those waters south of the Queets River, north of 47 and east of 12440'W - Open May 1 through September 30.

(ii) All other waters in Area 2 - Open May 1 through September 30, except closed to fishing for halibut 12:01 a.m. of each Friday through 11:59 p.m. of each Saturday.

(c) Catch Record Card Areas 3 and 4 - Open May 10 through September 30, except closed to fishing for halibut 12:01 a.m. of each Sunday through 11:59 p.m. of each Monday. The following area southwest of Cape Flattery is closed to halibut fishing at all times:

Those waters within an eastward facing "C" shaped closed area defined as: Beginning at 4818'N. lat.; 12518'W. long., thence to 4818'N. lat.; 12459'W. long., thence to 4811'N. lat.; 12459'W. long., thence to 4811'N. lat.; 12511'W. long., thence to 4804'N. lat.; 12511'W. long., thence to 4804'N. lat.; 12459'W. long., thence to 4800'N. lat.; 12459'W. long., thence to 4800'N. lat.; 12518'W. long., thence to the point of origin.

It is unlawful to fish for or possess bottomfish seaward of a line approximating the 20-fathom depth contour as defined by the following coordinates, from May 21 through September 30, on days and times closed to halibut fishing:

4823.9'N.; 12444.2'W.

4823.6'N.; 12444.9'W.

4818.6'N.; 12443.6'W.

4818.6'N.; 12448.2'W.

4810.0'N.; 12448.8'W.

4802.4'N.; 12449.3'W.

4737.6'N.; 12434.3'W.

4731.7'N.; 12432.4'W.

(d) Catch Record Card Area 5 - Open May 26 through July 31, except closed to fishing for halibut 12:01 a.m. of each Tuesday through 11:59 p.m. of each Wednesday.

(e) Catch Record Card Areas 6 through 13 - Open April 14 through June 20, except closed to fishing for halibut 12:01 a.m. of each Tuesday through 11:59 p.m. of each Wednesday.

(2) Daily limit one halibut taken from state and offshore waters, except Canadian waters. See WAC 220-56-156 for limits on Canadian-origin halibut.

(3) The possession limit is two daily limits of halibut in any form, except the possession limit aboard the fishing vessel is one daily limit. See WAC 220-56-156 for rules on Canadian-origin halibut possession.

(4) It is unlawful to land halibut outside the catch area in which the halibut were taken, except for Canadian-origin halibut. See WAC 220-56-156 for rules on landing Canadian-origin halibut.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 77.12.047. 06-17-057 (Order 06-199), 220-56-255, filed 8/10/06, effective 9/10/06; 05-14-035 (Order 05-130), 220-56-255, filed 6/24/05, effective 7/25/05; 03-05-057 (Order 03-24), 220-56-255, filed 2/14/03, effective 5/1/03. Statutory Authority: RCW 75.08.080 and 77.12.040. 99-15-081 (Order 99-102), 220-56-255, filed 7/20/99, effective 8/20/99; 99-08-029 (Order 99-13), 220-56-255, filed 3/30/99, effective 5/1/99; 98-06-031, 220-56-255, filed 2/26/98, effective 5/1/98. Statutory Authority: RCW 75.08.080. 97-07-078 (Order 97-53), 220-56-255, filed 3/19/97, effective 5/1/97; 95-12-027 (Order 95-46), 220-56-255, filed 5/31/95, effective 7/1/95; 94-14-069, 220-56-255, filed 7/1/94, effective 8/1/94; 93-15-011, 220-56-255, filed 7/8/93, effective 8/8/93; 93-08-034 (Order 93-20), 220-56-255, filed 3/31/93, effective 5/1/93; 89-07-060 (Order 89-12), 220-56-255, filed 3/16/89; 88-10-013 (Order 88-15), 220-56-255, filed 4/26/88; 85-10-062 (Order 85-39), 220-56-255, filed 5/1/85; 80-03-064 (Order 80-12), 220-56-255, filed 2/27/80, effective 4/1/80. Formerly WAC 220-56-071.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office