Wildlife to be classified.
(1) The director shall investigate the habits and distribution of the various species of wildlife native to or adaptable to the habitats of the state. The commission shall determine whether a species should be managed by the department and, if so, classify it under this section.
(2) The commission may classify by rule wild animals as game animals and game animals as fur-bearing animals.
(3) The commission may classify by rule wild birds as game birds or predatory birds. All wild birds not otherwise classified are protected wildlife.
(4) In addition to those species listed in RCW 77.08.020, the commission may classify by rule as game fish other species of the class Osteichthyes that are commonly found in freshwater except those classified as food fish by the director.
(5) The director may recommend to the commission that a species of wildlife should not be hunted or fished. The commission may designate species of wildlife as protected.
(6) If the director determines that a species of wildlife is seriously threatened with extinction in the state of Washington, the director may request its designation as an endangered species. The commission may designate an endangered species.
(7) If the director determines that a species of the animal kingdom, not native to Washington, is dangerous to the environment or wildlife of the state, the director may request its designation as deleterious exotic wildlife. The commission may designate deleterious exotic wildlife.
(8) Upon recommendation by the director, the commission may classify nonnative aquatic animal species according to the following categories:
(a) Prohibited aquatic animal species: These species are considered by the commission to have a high risk of becoming an invasive species and may not be possessed, imported, purchased, sold, propagated, transported, or released into state waters except as provided in RCW 77.15.253;
(b) Regulated aquatic animal species: These species are considered by the commission to have some beneficial use along with a moderate, but manageable risk of becoming an invasive species, and may not be released into state waters, except as provided in RCW 77.15.253. The commission shall classify the following commercial aquaculture species as regulated aquatic animal species, and allow their release into state waters pursuant to rule of the commission: Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas), kumamoto oyster (Crassostrea sikamea), European flat oyster (Ostrea edulis), eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica), manila clam (Tapes philippinarum), blue mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis), and suminoe oyster (Crassostrea ariankenisis);
(c) Unregulated aquatic animal species: These species are considered by the commission as having some beneficial use along with a low risk of becoming an invasive species, and are not subject to regulation under this title;
(d) Unlisted aquatic animal species: These species are not designated as a prohibited aquatic animal species, regulated aquatic animal species, or unregulated aquatic animal species by the commission, and may not be released into state waters. Upon request, the commission may determine the appropriate category for an unlisted aquatic animal species and classify the species accordingly;
(e) This subsection (8) does not apply to the transportation or release of nonnative aquatic animal species by ballast water or ballast water discharge.
(9) Upon recommendation by the director, the commission may develop a work plan to eradicate native aquatic species that threaten human health. Priority shall be given to water bodies that the department of health has classified as representing a threat to human health based on the presence of a native aquatic species.
[2002 c 281 § 3; 1994 c 264 § 53; 1987 c 506 § 13; 1980 c 78 § 13; 1969 ex.s. c 18 § 1; 1955 c 36 § 77.12.020. Prior: 1947 c 275 § 12; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 5992-22.]
| Purpose -- 2002 c 281: See note following RCW 77.08.010.|
Legislative findings and intent -- 1987 c 506: See note following RCW 77.04.020.
Effective date -- Intent, construction -- Savings -- Severability -- 1980 c 78: See notes following RCW 77.04.010.