Planting privately produced trout.
The legislature finds that it is beneficial to improve opportunities for trout fishing in order to satisfy the public's demand for recreational fishing during a time of declining opportunities to catch anadromous salmon and steelhead trout.
Fish farmers can produce trout in a triploid genetic configuration for the purpose of certifying that the fish are sterile and that they cannot interbreed with wild trout. These fish are ideally suited to planting into public lakes and ponds to provide immediate recreational fishing at a reasonable cost. The fish continue to grow throughout their life cycle and have the potential to grow to trophy size.
Planting of these catchable trout can provide increased angler participation, increased fishing license sales, increased tourism activities, and a boost to local economies.
The department of fish and wildlife is authorized to purchase these privately produced fish to supplement existing department trout hatchery production. The planting of these catchable trout in water bodies with water quality sufficient to support fish life must not have an adverse impact on the wild trout population.
Report to the legislature—1999 c 363:
"The department of fish and wildlife shall report to the appropriate legislative committees by February 1, 2001, regarding the implementation of this act. The report shall include information regarding the location and number of fish planted, the size of the fish planted, and information relating to the cost-effectiveness of the catchable trout program, including an estimate of new license revenues generated by the programs." [ 1999 c 363 § 4.
Effective date—1999 c 363:
"This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect immediately [May 17, 1999]." [ 1999 c 363 § 6.
Determination of appropriate waters.
The fish and wildlife commission in consultation with the department is authorized to determine which waters of the state are appropriate for this use. In making this determination, the commission shall seek geographic distribution to assure opportunity to fishers statewide.
The commission in consultation with the department will determine the maximum number of fish that may be planted into state waters so as not to compete with the wild populations of fish species in the water body.
Report to the legislature—Effective date—1999 c 363:
See notes following RCW 77.18.050