WSR 12-22-040




[ Order 12-256 -- Filed November 1, 2012, 4:44 p.m. , effective November 6, 2012, 12:00 p.m. ]

     Effective Date of Rule: November 6, 2012, 12:00 p.m.

     Purpose: Amend commercial fishing rules.

     Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Repealing WAC 220-40-02700S; and amending WAC 220-40-027.

     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: In preseason modeling coho directed fisheries during the November timeframe were limited by predicted chum abundance. Evaluation of commercial catch, hatchery rack counts, and early spawning ground information suggests that the chum run-size is quite likely much larger than the preseason forecast. Expanding the coho directed opportunity is consistent with achieving conservation goals while the increased run-size of chum will very likely exceed our conservation goal by a significant amount. This emergency rule is also intended to slow the harvest of white sturgeon, because only twenty-five remain within the harvest guideline. Eliminating the allowed use of nine inch or larger gear is intended to accomplish objective. 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     Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

     Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

     Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 1, Amended 0, Repealed 1.

     Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

     Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0;      Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.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: November 1, 2012.

Joe Stohr

for Philip Anderson


WAC 220-40-02700S   Salmon -- Willapa Bay fall fishery.   Notwithstanding the provisions of WAC 220-40-027, it is unlawful to violate the following provisions, provided that unless otherwise amended, all permanent rules remain in effect:

Fishing periods:

     (1) Gillnet gear may be used to fish for coho salmon, chum salmon, white sturgeon, and adipose fin-clipped hatchery Chinook:

Time: Area:
12:00 p.m. November 6 through 12:00 p.m. November 19, 2012 2M, 2N, 2R, 2T, and 2U


     (2) Gillnet gear restrictions - All areas:

     (a) Drift gillnet gear only. It is unlawful to use set net gear. It is permissible to have on board a commercial vessel more than one net, provided the nets are of a mesh size that is legal for the fishery, and the length of any one net does not exceed one thousand five hundred feet in length.

     (b) It is unlawful to use a gillnet to fish for salmon and/or white sturgeon if the lead line weighs more than two pounds per fathom of net as measured on the cork line. It is permissible to have a gillnet with a lead line weighing more than two pounds per fathom aboard a vessel when the vessel is fishing in or in transiting through Willapa Bay.

     (c) From November 6 through 6:00 p.m. November 19, 2012 mesh size must not exceed six and one-half inch maximum mesh.


     (3) Recovery boxes are not required and soak time are not limited.

     From November 6 through November 19, 2012, all nonlegal sturgeon, and all steelhead must be handled with care to minimize injury to the fish and must be released immediately to the river/bay when fishing in Willapa Bay Areas 2M, 2N, 2R, 2T, and 2U.

     (4) Quick reporting is required for wholesale dealers and fishers retailing their catch under a "direct retail endorsement." According to WAC 220-69-240(12), reports must be made by 10:00 a.m. the day following landing.

     (5) Retention of any species other than coho salmon, chum salmon, white sturgeon with fork length measure not less than 43 inches and not more than 54 inches, and hatchery Chinook marked by a healed scar at the site of the adipose fin is prohibited.

     (6) Report ALL encounters of green sturgeon, steelhead, and wild (unmarked) Chinook (your name, date of encounter, and number of species encountered) to the quick reporting office via phone at 866-791-1280, fax at 360-249-1229, or e-mail at Fishers may have wholesale dealers use the "buyer only" portion of the fish ticket and have encounters included with each day's quick reporting.

     (7) White sturgeon, when lying on their side, are measured from the tip of the nose to the fork of the tail. This measurement is referred to as the fork length. All white sturgeon to be retained must have a fork length measure of no less than 43 inches and no more than 54 inches.

     (8) Do NOT remove tags from white sturgeon that are not allowed to be retained. For white sturgeon not of a legal size and all green sturgeon, obtain available information from tags without removing tags.

     (9) It is unlawful to fish with gillnet gear in Areas 2M, 2N, 2R, 2T, and 2U unless the vessel operator has attended a "Fish Friendly" best fishing practices workshop and has in their possession a department-issued certification card.

     (10) Fishers must take department observers if requested by department staff when participating in these openings.


     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 p.m. November 19, 2012:

WAC 220-40-02700S Salmon -- Willapa Bay fall fishery.