WSR 15-16-010
[Order 15-220—Filed July 23, 2015, 3:34 p.m., effective July 23, 2015, 3:34 p.m.]
Effective Date of Rule: Immediately upon filing.
Purpose: Amend recreational fishing rules.
Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Repealing WAC 220-310-20000Q; and amending WAC 220-310-200.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 77.04.012, 77.04.020, 77.04.055, and 77.12.047.
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: The regulation clarifies that coho salmon must be released through July 31, 2015. On June 30, 2015, the intent of the compact was [to] allow only Chinook and sockeye salmon retention, along with hatchery steelhead in the daily bag limit. Coho salmon typically don't enter the river until early to mid-August, but reports of coho presence in the Columbia River which has prompted the clarification for Washington rules. The daily bag limit allows any Chinook to be retained (fin clipped or not) as part of the daily limit, but only one can be an adult Chinook. The area from the Oregon/Washington border upstream to Priest Rapids Dam remains open and the daily bag limit remains consistent with permanent regulations outlined in the 2015-2016 fishing pamphlet. Harvestable summer Chinook and sockeye are available for harvest based on inseason forecasts and management agreements. The fishery is consistent with the U.S. v. Oregon Management Agreement and the associated biological opinion. Conforms Washington state rules with Oregon state rules. There is insufficient time to promulgate permanent rules.
Washington and Oregon jointly regulate Columbia River fisheries under the congressionally ratified Columbia River Compact. Four Indian tribes have treaty fishing rights in the Columbia River. The treaties preempt state regulations that fail to allow the tribes an opportunity to take a fair share of the available fish, and the states must manage other fisheries accordingly. Sohappy v. Smith, 302 F. Supp. 899 (D. Or. 1969). A federal court order sets the current parameters for sharing between treaty Indians and others. 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 Columbia River Basin salmon and steelhead stocks are listed as threatened or endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). On May 5, 2008, the National Marine Fisheries Service issued a biological opinion under 16 U.S.C. § 1536 that allows for some incidental take of these species in treaty and nontreaty Columbia River fisheries governed by the 2008-2017 U.S. v. Oregon Management Agreement. The Washington and Oregon fish and wildlife commissions have developed policies to guide the implementation of such biological opinions in the states' regulation of nontreaty fisheries.
Columbia River nontreaty fisheries are monitored very closely to ensure compliance with federal court orders, the ESA, and commission guidelines. Because conditions change rapidly, the fisheries are managed almost exclusively by emergency rule. Representatives from the Washington (WDFW) and Oregon (ODFW) departments of fish and wildlife convene public hearings and take public testimony when considering proposals for new emergency rules. WDFW and ODFW then adopt regulations reflecting agreements reached.
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: July 23, 2015.
Joe Stohr
for J. W. Unsworth
WAC 220-310-20000T Freshwater exceptions to statewide rulesColumbia River.
Notwithstanding the provisions of WAC 220-310-200, effective immediately through July 31, 2015, it is permissible to fish in waters of the Columbia River from the Astoria-Megler Bridge upstream to the Oregon/Washington border.
(1) Daily salmonid limit is 6 fish; minimum size is 12 inches. Up to 2 may be adult salmon or hatchery steelhead or 1 of each. Only 1 may be an adult Chinook. Release all coho.
(2) Any Chinook (adipose fin clipped or not) may be kept. Sockeye are included in the daily adult salmonid limit.
The following section of the Washington Administrative Code is repealed:
WAC 220-310-20000Q
Freshwater exceptions to statewide rulesColumbia River. (15-196)