WSR 09-20-034

PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY

DEPARTMENT OF

FISH AND WILDLIFE

[ Filed September 30, 2009, 9:06 a.m. ]

Subject of Possible Rule Making: WAC 220-52-068 Scallop fishery -- Coastal waters.

Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 77.12.047, 77.04.020, and 77.12.045.

Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: State laws and rules can be more restrictive than their federal counterparts, but not less restrictive. WAC 220-50-068 requires the use of scallop dredge gear to harvest scallops in the coastal fishery. This conflicts with National Marine Fisheries Service regulation, 50 C.F.R. Part 660.306, prohibiting the use of dredge gear in groundfish essential fish habitat (EFH). Specifically, dredge gear is prohibited from high tide out to two hundred miles, which coincides with where groundfish EFH occurs. The department wants to amend WAC 220-50-068 to make it consistent with federal rules.

Process for Developing New Rule: Agency study.

Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Lori Preuss, WDFW Enforcement, 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091, phone (360) 902-2930, fax (360) 902-2155, e-mail Lori.Preuss@dfw.wa.gov. Contact by November 23, 2009. Expected proposal filing on or after December 2, 2009.

September 30, 2009

Lori Preuss

Rules Coordinator

Washington State Code Reviser's Office