FISH AND WILDLIFE
[Order 20-178—Filed September 3, 2020, 5:07 p.m., effective September 5, 2020]
Effective Date of Rule: September 5, 2020.
Purpose: Columbia River sturgeon and salmon fisheries.
Citation of Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 220-312-060.
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 rule is needed to allow a limited harvest of white sturgeon in the Columbia River and additional recreational salmon angling opportunity below Bonneville Dam. The legal size white sturgeon population is large enough to allow for a retention fishery within the lower Columbia River. Room for additional recreational fishery impacts to upriver bright and lower river hatchery fall Chinook as well as coho remain under the preseason fishing plan. This action is consistent with decisions made by the states of Washington and Oregon on September 3, 2020. 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Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted at the Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's own Initiative: New 1, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.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 220-312-06000UFreshwater exceptions to statewide rules—Columbia River.
Effective September 5, until further notice, the provisions of WAC 220-312-060 regarding recreational sturgeon seasons in the Columbia River downstream of Bonneville Dam and the Cowlitz River shall be as described below. All other provisions of WAC 220-313-070 not addressed herein remain in effect unless otherwise amended by emergency rule:
(1) From Wauna powerlines upstream to Bonneville Dam, including the Cowlitz River:
(a) It is permissible to retain white sturgeon on Saturday, September 12 and Saturday, September 19, 2020.
(i) The daily limit of white sturgeon is one fish.
(ii) Minimum fork length 44 inches. Maximum fork length 50 inches.
(b) Catch and release angling is permissible on days not open to sturgeon retention.
(2) From a true North and South line through Buoy 10 to the Megler Astoria Bridge to a projected line from Rocky Point on the Washington bank through Red Buoy 44 to the red navigation marker 2 at Tongue Point on the Oregon Bank (CRC 519) upstream to the Rocky Point/Tongue Point line:
(a) Chinook and coho: Effective September 5 and September 6, 2020: Up to 2 adult salmon may be retained, no more than 1 may be a Chinook. Coho minimum size 16 inches. Release all steelhead and wild coho.
(b) Effective September 7 through September 22, 2020: 2 hatchery coho may be retained. Coho minimum size 16 inches. Release all other salmon and steelhead.
(c) Effective September 23 through October 31, 2020: 2 adult daily limit, no more than 1 may be a Chinook. Coho minimum size 16 inches. Release all steelhead and wild coho. Retention of jack salmon prohibited until October 1.
(d) Effective November 1 through December 31, 2020: 2 adult daily limit, no more than 1 may be a Chinook and no more than 1 may be a steelhead. Coho minimum size 16 inches. Release all wild coho and wild steelhead.