WSR 18-04-035
[Order 18-14—Filed January 30, 2018, 3:28 p.m., effective February 1, 2018]
Effective Date of Rule: February 1, 2018.
Purpose: Amends commercial smelt harvest rules.
Citation of Rules Affected by this Order: Repealing WAC 220-358-06000A; and amending WAC 220-358-060.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 77.04.012, 77.04.020, 77.12.045, 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: Sets a limited Columbia River commercial fishery for eulachon smelt. The regulation is consistent with a reduced level one fishery as described in the "Washington and Oregon Eulachon Management Plan" for the Columbia River. The expected return of eulachon to the Columbia River in 2018 is expected to be similar to or slightly less than the run of 2017. The fishery serves as an important test fishery to monitor run strength and timing and to collect biological data. NOAA Fisheries concurs that the limited fishery is consistent with recovery of eulachon smelt. Rule is consistent with Columbia River Compact action of January 30, 2018. There is insufficient time to adopt permanent regulations.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted at the Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's own Initiative: New 1, Amended 0, Repealed 1.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.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: January 30, 2018.
J. W. Unsworth
WAC 220-358-06000A SmeltAreas and seasons.
Notwithstanding the provisions of WAC 220-358-060, the Columbia River and Washington tributaries are closed to fishing for eulachon smelt except as provided below:
Open Dates: February 1 through February 26, 2018, open Mondays and Thursdays only, 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (7-hour periods).
Open Area: Columbia River – SMCRA 1A, 1B, 1C.
Gear: It is unlawful to use anything other than gillnets. Gillnets must meet the following specifications per WAC 220-358-060: mesh size not to exceed 2 inches stretch measure; not to exceed 1,500 feet in length along the cork line. Use of monofilament nets is permissible.
Allowable sales: Smelt.
Other: 24-hour quick-reporting is required for Washington wholesale dealers, as provided in WAC 220-352-180.
The following section of the Washington Administrative Code is repealed effective 2:01 p.m. February 26, 2018:
WAC 220-358-06000A
Smelt—Areas and seasons.