FISH AND WILDLIFE
[Order 20-80—Filed May 14, 2020, 3:29 p.m., effective May 16, 2020]
Effective Date of Rule: May 16, 2020.
Purpose: This emergency rule is needed to close spring Chinook seasons in the Clarkston area of the Snake River, effective May 16, 2020.
Citation of Rules Affected by this Order: Repealing WAC 220-312-05000Y; and amending WAC 220-312-050.
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: This emergency rule is needed to close spring Chinook seasons in the Clarkston area of the Snake River, effective May 16, 2020. Spring Chinook seasons will remain open two days per week in the Little Goose area of the Snake River. The Snake River spring Chinook fisheries were opened May 5, 2020, pursuant to the Governor's Proclamation amendment 20-25.2, issued April 27, 2020, indicating that recreational activities including fishing may resume, when and where permitted.
The 2020 Columbia River forecasted return of upriver spring Chinook salmon is sufficiently abundant to allow for harvest opportunity in the Little Goose area of the Snake River based on WDFW Commission Policy C-3620. The U.S. v. Oregon (2018-2027) Management Agreement provides Endangered Species Act coverage for this fishery. Spring Chinook salmon returns to the Clearwater River are lower than predicted in preseason estimates. In order to protect hatchery brood stock needs within the Clearwater we are closing this section of the Snake River (Clarkston area), as it is adjacent to the mouth of the Clearwater.
The governor's proclamation amendment also includes requirements to exclude gatherings with people who are not members of the same household and maintain social distancing for the continued protection of public health and safety. These fishery openings considered that requirement as a basis for the decision to reopen fisheries, but do not incorporate those social distance elements within the regulations themselves. While not imposed in Washington department of fish and wildlife's fishery rules, they are and remain, a requirement of the governor's proclamation. Failure to abide by those social distance requirements could result in increased health risks requiring future fishery closures.
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 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: May 14, 2020.
WAC 220-312-05000ZFreshwater exceptions to statewide rules—Eastside.
Effective May 16, 2020 and until further notice the following provisions of WAC 220-312-050 regarding salmon seasons for the Snake River shall be as described below. All other provisions of WAC 220-312-050 not addressed herein, or unless otherwise amended, remain in effect:
Snake River (Franklin/Walla Walla Counties):
From Texas Rapids boat launch (south side of the river upstream of the mouth of Tucannon River) to the fishing restriction boundary below Little Goose Dam:
Salmon: Open Tuesdays and Fridays, effective May 16, 2020 until further notice, or until this expires on September 1, 2020.
(i) Daily limit 4, up to 1 adult may be retained. Release all salmon other than hatchery Chinook.
(ii) Night Closure.
(iii) Barbless hooks required.
(iv) When steelhead seasons are open, anglers may not continue fishing for salmon or steelhead once the daily salmon limit has been retained.
The following section of Washington Administrative Code is repealed effective May 16, 2020:
Freshwater exceptions to statewide rules—Eastside. (20-71)