FISH AND WILDLIFE
[Order 20-176—Filed September 9, 2020, 11:18 a.m., effective September 9, 2020, 11:18 a.m.]
Effective Date of Rule: Immediately upon filing.
Purpose: The purpose of this rule is to close the coastal commercial crab season and to allow for permitted gear recovery from September 16 through the month of October.
Citation of Rules Affected by this Order: Repealing WAC 220-340-45000T and 220-340-49000D; and amending WAC 220-340-490.
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: In order to protect crab during the typical fall molting period and to meet the stipulations found in state tribal agreements, it is necessary to close the commercial crab fishery. Washington department of fish and wildlife permitted gear recovery is allowed by permanent regulation fifteen days following the close of the commercial season to allow fish and wildlife officers time to enforce rules relative to fishing during the closed season. This rule change allows an earlier start to the permitted gear recovery, beginning on September 16 which gives participants more time to recover lost gear before weather conditions becomes prohibitive to safe gear recovery efforts. The enforcement program is supportive of allowing this earlier gear recovery opportunity.
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Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted at the Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's own Initiative: New 1, Amended 0, Repealed 2.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.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 9, 2020.
WAC 220-340-49000DCoastal crab Fishery—Coastal crab gear recovery permit.
Effective 8:01 AM September 16, 2020 until 11:59 PM October 31, 2020, the provisions of WAC 220-340-490 regarding gear recovery shall be as described below. All other provisions of WAC 220-340-490 not addressed herein remain in effect unless otherwise amended by emergency rule:
(1) A coastal crab gear recovery permit may be granted by the director or his or her designee for licensed coastal Dungeness crab fishers to recover crab pots belonging to state licensed fishers that remain in the ocean in the coastal waters between the Washington/Oregon border (46°15.00) and the US/Canada border, including the Columbia River, Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor.
(2) No crab may be retained on any vessel engaged in permitted gear recovery activities or while recovered gear is on board the vessel.
The following section of the Washington Administrative Code is repealed effective 11:59 PM September 15, 2020:
Commercial crab fishery—Seasons and areas—Coastal. (20-60)
The following section of the Washington Administrative Code is repealed effective November 1, 2020:
Coastal crab fishery—Coastal crab gear recovery permit. (20-176)