WSR 11-08-059




[ Order 11-51 -- Filed April 5, 2011, 2:43 p.m. , effective April 16, 2011, 12:01 a.m. ]

Effective Date of Rule: April 16, 2011, 12:01 a.m.

Purpose: Amend commercial fishing rules.

Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Repealing WAC 220-40-03100H; and amending WAC 220-40-031.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 77.12.047 and 77.04.020.

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: Harvestable white sturgeon are available within the Willapa Bay management guideline for a commercial fishery. There is insufficient time to adopt permanent rules.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 1, Amended 0, Repealed 1.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.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: April 5, 2011.

Joe Stohr

for Philip Anderson


WAC 220-40-03100H   Willapa Bay spring white sturgeon fishery.   Notwithstanding the provisions of WAC 220-40-031, effective April 16, through May 15, 2011, it is unlawful to fish for sturgeon in Willapa Bay for commercial purposes or to possess sturgeon taken from those waters for commercial purposes, except that:

Fishing periods

(1) Gillnet gear may be used to fish for white sturgeon:

Time Area
12:01 a.m. April 16 through

11:59 p.m. May 15, 2011

Salmon Management and Catch Reporting Area (SMCRA) Area 2G easterly of a line from the most northerly upland at Leadbetter Point (approximately 46 degrees 39' N) to the eastern most upland at Toke Point (approximately 123 degrees 58' W); and areas 2H, 2J and 2M.

The Tokeland Boat Basin is closed to commercial fishing during the openings in SMCRA 2G described in this section. The Tokeland Boat Basin means that portion of SMCRA 2G bounded on the south by the shoreline of the boat basin, on the west by the seawall, and on the north and east by a line from the Tokeland Channel Marker "3" (flashing green, 4-second) to Tokeland Channel Marker "4" to the tip of the seawall.


(2) Gillnet gear restrictions - All areas:

(a) Drift gillnet gear only. It is unlawful to use set net gear.

(b) April 16 through May 15, 2011 - 9-inch minimum mesh.

(c) All salmon, non-legal sturgeon, and all steelhead must be handled with care to minimize injury to fish and released immediately to the river/bay.


(3) A new method of measuring white sturgeon statewide became effective January 1, 2009. This method measures fork length from the tip of the nose to the fork in the tail with the fish on its side. The new legal fork length size limit is 43 - 54 inches.

(4) Quick reporting is required (WAC 220-69-240) by 10:00 a.m. the day following landing for wholesale dealers and fishers retailing their fish.

(5) Fishers must take department observers, if requested by WDFW staff, when participating in these openings and provide Notice of Intent via phone, fax, or e-mail to participate in Quick Reporting, WAC 220-69-240, prior to 10:00 a.m. April 12, 2011.

(6) The NOAA Fisheries listed the southern population of green sturgeon as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, effective July 6, 2006. Most green sturgeon captured in Willapa Bay fisheries are from the southern population. Therefore, the retention of green sturgeon is prohibited to protect this federally listed stock.

(7) Report ALL encounters with Chinook, green sturgeon and steelhead (your name, date of encounter, and number of species encountered) to the Quick Reporting office via phone at 866.771.1280, via fax at 360.249.1229, or e-mail at

(8) Retrieve any information from spaghetti tags near the dorsal fin on green or white sturgeon. For green sturgeon, do NOT remove tags. For retained white sturgeon, please submit tags to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, 48 Devonshire Rd., Montesano, WA, 98563.


Reviser's note: The unnecessary underscoring in the above section occurred in the copy filed by the agency and appears in the Register pursuant to the requirements of RCW 34.08.040.

The following section of the Washington Administrative Code is repealed effective 12:01 a.m. May 16, 2011.

WAC 220-40-03100H Willapa Bay spring white sturgeon fishery.

Washington State Code Reviser's Office