FISH AND WILDLIFE
[Order 20-180—Filed September 3, 2020, 1:30 p.m., effective September 3, 2020, 1:30 p.m.]
Effective Date of Rule: Immediately upon filing.
Purpose: The purpose of this rule is to open two recreational halibut days in Marine Area 1 and one recreational halibut day in Marine Area 2, in addition to recreational halibut seasons in Marine Areas 1 through 10 already established by WSR 20-15-135. This will also align sport fishing rules with federal rules adopted by the National Marine Fisheries Service.
Citation of Rules Affected by this Order: Repealing WAC 220-314-03000A and 220-314-03000B; and amending WAC 220-314-030.
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: Under the Halibut Convention Act, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has the authority to promulgate regulations for domestic halibut regulations and the states are required to conform. Therefore, this rule conforms to NMFS's final rule, which is consistent with the actions taken by the Pacific Fishery Management Council and the International Pacific Halibut Commission.
As noted in WSR 20-15-135, if catch is slower than anticipated, additional days could be added to the season. This is the case, catch has been slower than anticipated. As of August 23, 2020, a little over forty-three percent of catch quota remains available in Marine Areas 2, (or 27,313 of 62,896 pounds of quota); and a little over eighty-five percent of catch quota remains in Marine Area 1, (or 15,305 of 17,950 pounds of quota). The recreational halibut quota is sufficient to provide for these additional days in Marine Areas 1 and 2. Halibut catch will continue to be closely monitored by the Washington department of fish and wildlife staff, the season could close earlier if quotas are achieved.
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Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted at the Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.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 2.
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: September 3, 2020.
WAC 220-314-03000BHalibut—Seasons—Daily and possession limits.
Notwithstanding the provisions of WAC 220-314-040, and 220-314-010, effective immediately through September 30, 2020, it is unlawful to fish for or possess halibut taken for personal use, except as provided in this section. All other provisions of WAC 220-314-040, and 220-314-010, including Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation Areas (YRCA), not addressed herein, remain in effect unless otherwise amended by emergency rule:
(1) Catch Record Card Area 1:
(a) Open August 27, and 30; September 3, 4, 6, 10, 11, 13, 17, 20, 24, and 27, 2020. (Thursdays and Sundays, through September 27, 2020 and Fridays September 4 and 11, 2020.)
(b) Lingcod can be retained when halibut are on board, during the halibut season north of the Washington-Oregon border.
(2) Catch Record Card Area 1 (Nearshore fishery); Those waters shoreward from 46°38.17'N. lat., 124°15.88'W. long., to the WA/OR border at 46°16.00'N. lat., 24°15.88'W. long. (then connecting to the 40 fathom depth contour in Oregon):
(a) Open August 31; September 1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, and 30 2020. (Mondays through Wednesdays through September 30, 2020.)
(b) It is permissible to retain bottomfish while possessing halibut onboard boats in the nearshore area.
(3) Catch Record Card Area 2:
Open September 3, 4, 6, 10, 11, 13, 17, 20, 24, and 27, 2020. (Thursdays and Sundays through September 27, 2020 and Friday September 4 and 11, 2020.)
(4) Card Areas 3 and 4:
Open August 27, 28, and 29; September 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, and 26, 2020. (Thursdays and Saturdays through September 26, 2020.)
(5) Catch Record Card Area 5 through 10:
(a) Open August 27, 28, and 29; September 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, and 26, 2020. (Thursdays through Saturdays, through September 26, 2020.)
(b) It is permissible for halibut anglers to retain Pacific cod caught while fishing for halibut in waters deeper than 120 feet on days when halibut fishing is open in Area 5.
(6) Catch Record Card Areas 11, 12 and 13: Closed.
Reviser's note: The typographical error 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:
Halibut—Seasons—Daily and possession limits. (20-165)
The following section of the Washington Administrative Code is repealed effective October 1, 2020:
Halibut—Seasons—Daily and possession limits.