FISH AND WILDLIFE
Effective Date of Rule: Immediately.
Purpose: The purpose of this rule making is to provide for treaty Indian fishing opportunity in the Columbia River while protecting salmon listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). This rule making implements federal court orders governing Washington's relationship with treaty Indian tribes and federal law governing Washington's relationship with Oregon.
Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Repealing WAC 220-32-05700F and 220-32-05700G; and amending WAC 220-32-057.
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 2008-2017 United States v. Oregon Management Agreement (Aug. 12, 2008) (Doc. No. 2546); 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: Corrects the closing date for the sturgeon set-line commercial treaty fishery in SMCRA 1G (The Dalles Pool). The correct scheduled closure date is December 3 (not December 2). Harvestable fish remain under the pool-specific guideline. Only allows sales of sturgeon, including those caught with traditional platform and hook and line gear. Conforms state rules to tribal rules. Consistent with compact action of November 1, 2011. There is insufficient time to promulgate permanent rules.
The Yakama, Warm Springs, Umatilla, and Nez Perce Indian tribes have treaty fishing rights in the Columbia River and inherent sovereign authority to regulate their fisheries. Washington and Oregon also have some authority to regulate fishing by treaty Indians in the Columbia River, authority that the states exercise jointly under the congressionally ratified Columbia River compact. Sohappy v. Smith, 302 F. Supp. 899 (D. Or. 1969).
The tribes and the states adopt parallel regulations for treaty Indian fisheries under the supervision of the federal courts. A court order sets the current parameters. United States v. Oregon, Civil No. 68-513-KI (D. Or.), Order Adopting 2008-2017 United States v. Oregon Management Agreement (Aug. 12, 2008) (Doc. No. 2546). Some salmon and steelhead stocks in the Columbia River are listed as threatened or endangered under the federal ESA. On May 5, 2008, the National Marine Fisheries Service issued a biological opinion under 16 U.S.C. § 1536 that allow for some incidental take of these species in the fisheries as described in the 2008-2017 U.S. v. Oregon Management Agreement. Columbia River fisheries are monitored very closely to ensure consistency with court orders and ESA guidelines. Because conditions change rapidly, the fisheries are managed almost exclusively by emergency rule. As required by court order, the Washington (WDFW) and Oregon (ODFW) departments of fish and wildlife convene public hearings and invite tribal participation when considering proposals for new emergency rules affecting treaty fishing rights. Sohappy, 302 F. Supp. at 912. WDFW and ODFW then adopt regulations reflecting agreements reached.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 1, Amended 0, Repealed 2; Federal Rules or Standards: New 1, Amended 0, Repealed 2; 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 2.
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: November 29, 2011.
1. Open period: Immediately through 6:00 p.m. December 3, 2011.
2. Area: SMCRA 1G
3. Gear: Set-lines. Fishers are encouraged to use circle hooks and avoid J-hooks. It is unlawful to use set-line gear with more than 100 hooks per set-line, with hooks less than the minimum size of 9/0, with treble hooks, without visible buoys attached, and with buoys that do not specify operator and tribal identification.
Traditional platform and hook and line gear is also allowed, which includes hoop nets, dip bag nets, and rod and reel with hook and line gear.
4. Allowable Sales: Sturgeon between 43 and 54 inches in fork length. Sturgeon within the size limits stated above, and caught in the platform and hook and line fishery, may be sold if caught during the open periods and open area of the set-line fishery.
5. Sanctuaries: Standard sanctuaries applicable to these gear types.
6. Additional Regulations: 24-hour quick reporting required for Washington wholesale dealers, pursuant to WAC 220-69-240.
7. Miscellaneous: It is unlawful to sell, barter, or attempt to sell or barter sturgeon eggs that have been removed from the body cavity of a sturgeon prior to sale of the sturgeon to a wholesale dealer licensed under chapter 77.65 RCW, or to sell or barter sturgeon eggs at retail. It is unlawful to deliver to a wholesale dealer licensed under chapter 77.65 RCW any sturgeon that are not in the round with the head and tail intact.
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:
|WAC 220-32-05700F||Columbia River sturgeon seasons above Bonneville. (11-291)|
|WAC 220-32-05700G||Columbia River sturgeon seasons above Bonneville.|