WSR 20-13-049
[Order 20-104—Filed June 11, 2020, 3:21 p.m., effective June 20, 2020]
Effective Date of Rule: June 20, 2020.
Purpose: Effective March 1, 2020, the Washington department of fish and wildlife (WDFW) adopted WAC 220-312-03000I (WSR 20-06-017 filed on February 21, 2020) to implement salmon fishery closures in rivers in southwest Washington, including the Cowlitz River. The purpose of this rule is to be responsive to new scientific information regarding the low returns of Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery spring Chinook broodstock and extend the Chinook retention closure originally adopted in WSR 20-06-017 through July 31, 2020.
Citation of Rules Affected by this Order: Repealing WAC 220-312-03000L; and amending WAC 220-312-030.
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: This emergency rule is necessary because current numbers show that the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery spring Chinook return is extremely depressed. The hatchery escapement goal is one thousand three hundred ten Chinook. In response to the preseason run-size forecast, which was the only information available at the time the prior emergency rule was adopted, the estimated return to the hatchery was one thousand two hundred forty-two Chinook. The closure effective March 1, 2020, was necessary as the return estimate was lower than the escapement goal.
As of June 7, 2020, the hatchery has had a total of eighty-three spring Chinook return, which [is] less than twelve percent of the number of returns that had been expected based on the preseason run forecast (seven hundred thirty-seven Chinook). Based on historical averages, the Cowlitz River spring Chinook run is forty-nine to fifty-six percent complete, which means that total broodstock collection is projected to [be] at ten to thirteen percent of what is needed under the assumption that the Chinook nonretention rule remains in place. Therefore, this emergency rule is needed to extend the closure to maximize broodstock returns - without it, the actual number of returns could be less than ten percent.
In addition to addressing this shortfall through fishing rule changes the department is currently discussing contingency plans including using Kalama River stock spring Chinook as backfill for the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery.
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: June 11, 2020.
Kelly Susewind
WAC 220-312-03000LFreshwater exceptions to statewide rulesSouthwest.
Effective June 20, 2020 through July 31, 2020 the provisions of WAC 220-312-030 regarding salmon seasons for Cispus River, Cowlitz Falls Reservoir, and Cowlitz River shall be modified as described below. All other provisions of WAC 220-312-030 not addressed herein remain in effect unless otherwise amended:
1) Cispus River (Lewis Co.): It is unlawful to retain Chinook.
2) Cowlitz Falls Reservoir (Lake Scanewa) (Lewis Co.): It is unlawful to retain Chinook.
3) Cowlitz River (Cowlitz Co.): It is unlawful to retain Chinook.
The following section of the Washington Administrative Code is repealed effective August 1, 2020:
WAC 220-312-03000L
SouthwestFreshwater exceptions to statewide rules.