FISH AND WILDLIFE
Effective Date of Rule: Immediately.
Purpose: The purpose of this rule making is to allow fishing opportunity in the Columbia River while protecting salmon listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act. This rule making implements federal court orders governing Washington's relationship with treaty Indian tribes, federal law governing Washington's relationship with Oregon, and Washington fish and wildlife commission policy guidance for Columbia River fisheries.
Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Repealing WAC 220-33-01000D and 220-33-01000E; and amending WAC 220-33-010.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 77.04.130, 77.12.045, and 77.12.047.
Other Authority: United States v. Oregon, Civil No. 68-513-KI (D. Or.), Order Adopting 2005-2007 Interim Management Agreement For Upriver Chinook, Sockeye, Steelhead, Coho & White Sturgeon (May 11, 2005) (Doc. No. 2407); Northwest Gillnetters Ass'n v. Sandison, 95 Wn.2d 638, 628 P.2d 800 (1981); Washington fish and wildlife commission policies concerning Columbia River fisheries; 40 Stat. 515 (Columbia River compact).
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: Sets the second fishing period for the 2008 winter commercial salmon season. Impacts to ESA-listed stocks in these fisheries are covered under the biological opinion for the 2005-2007 interim management agreement. Season is consistent with Washington fish and wildlife commission guidance for 2006-2008 sturgeon fishery management. This rule is consistent with actions of the Columbia River compact hearings of February 15 and April 7, 2008. This rule conforms Washington and Oregon state rules. There is insufficient time to promulgate permanent rules.
Washington and Oregon jointly regulate Columbia River fisheries under the congressionally ratified Columbia River compact. Four Indian tribes have treaty fishing rights in the Columbia River. The treaties preempt state regulations that fail to allow the tribes an opportunity to take a fair share of the available fish, and the states must manage other fisheries accordingly. Sohappy v. Smith, 302 F. Supp. 899 (D. Or. 1969). A federal court order sets the current parameters for sharing between treaty Indians and others. United States v. Oregon, Civil No. 68-513-KI (D. Or.), Order Adopting 2005-2007 Interim Management Agreement For Upriver Chinook, Sockeye, Steelhead, Coho & White Sturgeon (May 11, 2005) (Doc. No. 2407).
Some Columbia River basin salmon and steelhead stocks are listed as threatened or endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act. The National Marine Fisheries Service has issued biological opinions under 16 U.S.C. § 1536 that allow for some incidental take of these species in treaty and nontreaty Columbia River fisheries. The Washington and Oregon fish and wildlife commissions have developed policies to guide the implementation of these biological opinions in the states' regulation of nontreaty fisheries. Columbia River nontreaty fisheries are monitored very closely to ensure compliance with federal court orders, the Endangered Species Act, and commission guidelines. Because conditions change rapidly, the fisheries are managed almost exclusively by emergency rule. Representatives from the Washington (WDFW) and Oregon (ODFW) departments of fish and wildlife convene public hearings and take public testimony when considering proposals for new emergency rules. WDFW and ODFW then adopt regulations reflecting agreements reached.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 1, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 1, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted at 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: April 7, 2008.
J. P. Koenings
1. Area: SMCRA 1C, and 1E only in the area from the west powerlines on Hayden Island upstream to Beacon Rock (Zone 5 upper boundary).
a) Season: 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Tuesday April 8, 2008 (16 hours).
b) Gear: Drift gill nets only, 4-1/4 inch maximum mesh. Mesh size is determined by placing three consecutive meshes under hand tension and taking the measurement from the inside of one vertical knot to the outside of the opposite vertical knot of the center mesh. Hand tension means sufficient linear tension to draw opposing knots of meshes into contact. Monofilament gill nets are not allowed for the 4-1/4 inch mesh. Gill nets that are fished at any time between official sunset and official sunrise must have lighted buoys on both ends of the net unless the net is attached to the boat. If the net is attached to the boat, then one lighted buoy on the opposite end of the net from the boat is required.
There are no restrictions on the use of slackers or stringers to slacken the net vertically. There are no restrictions on the hang ratio. The hang ratio is used to horizontally add slack to the net. The hang ratio is determined by the length of the web per length of the corkline.
Net length not to exceed 150 fathoms, except under the following conditions: An optional use of a steelhead excluder panel of mesh may be hung between the corkline and the 4-1/4 inch maximum mesh size tangle net. The excluder panel web must be a minimum mesh size of 12 inches when stretched taut under hand tension. Monofilament mesh is allowed for the excluder panel. The excluder panel must be a minimum of 5 feet in depth and must not exceed 10 feet in depth as measured from the corkline to the upper margin of the tangle net mesh as the net hangs naturally from a taut corkline. Weedlines or droppers (bobber type) may be used in place of the steelhead excluder panel. A weedline-type excluder means the net is suspended below the corkline by lines of no less than five feet in length between the corkline and the upper margin of the tangle net. A dropper-type excluder means the entire net is suspended below the surface of the water by lines of no less than five feet in length extending from individual surface floats to a submersed corkline. The corkline cannot be capable of floating the net in its entirety (including the leadline) independent of the attached floats. Weedlines or droppers, must extend a minimum of 5 feet above the 4 1/4-inch maximum mesh size tangle net. Tangle nets constructed with a steelhead excluder panel, weedlines, or droppers, may extend to a maximum length of 175 fathoms. Tangle nets constructed with a steelhead excluder panel, weedlines, or droppers must have two red corks at each end of the net, as well as the red corks under miscellaneous regulations.
i. In the Columbia River downstream of Bonneville Dam and in the Select Areas (described in WAC 220-22-010(9)), it shall be lawful to have onboard a commercial fishing vessel more than one licensed net in excess of the lawful size or length prescribed for a single net as long as the net or nets are of legal size for the fishery, or the net has a minimum mesh size of 9 inches, and the length of any one net does not exceed 1,500 feet in length.
ii. Nets not lawful for use at that time and area may be onboard the boat if properly stored. A "properly stored" net is defined as a net on a drum that is fully covered by tarp (canvas or plastic) and bound with a minimum of ten revolutions of rope with a diameter of 3/8 (0.375) inches or greater.
c) Allowable Sale: Adipose fin-clipped salmon, white sturgeon, and shad. An adipose fin-clipped salmon is defined as a hatchery salmon with a clipped adipose fin and having a healed scar at the location of the fin. Green sturgeon retention is prohibited.
d) Sanctuaries: Washougal and Sandy rivers
e) Miscellaneous Regulations:
i. At least one fisher on each boat must have tangle net certification.
ii. Soak times, defined as the time elapsed from when the first of the gill net web is deployed into the water until the gill net web is fully retrieved from the water, must not exceed 45 minutes.
iii. Red corks are required at 25 fathom intervals, and red corks must be in contrast to the corks used in the remainder of the net.
iv. Each boat will be required to have two operable recovery boxes or one box with two chambers, on board. Each box and chamber shall be operating during any time that the net is being retrieved or picked. The flow in the recovery box will be a minimum of 16 gallons per minute in each chamber of the box, not to exceed 20 gallons per minute. Each chamber of the recovery box must meet the following dimensions as measured from within the box; the inside length measurement must be at or within 39 1/2 inches to 48 inches, the inside width measurements must be at or within 8 to 10 inches, and the inside height measurement must be at or within 14 to 16 inches.
Each chamber of the recovery box must include a water inlet hole between 3/4 inch and 1 inch in diameter, centered horizontally across the door or wall of the chamber and 1 3/4 inches from the floor of the chamber. Each chamber of the recovery box must include a water outlet hole opposite the inflow that is a least 1 1/2 inches in diameter. The center of the outlet hole must be located a minimum of 12 inches above the floor of the box or chamber. The fisher must demonstrate to WDFW and ODFW employees, fish and wildlife enforcement officers, or other peace officers, upon request, that the pumping system is delivering the proper volume of fresh river water into each chamber.
v. All non-legal sturgeon, non-adipose fin-clipped salmon, and steelhead must be released immediately to the river with care and with the least possible injury to the fish, or placed into an operating recovery box.
vi. Any fish that is bleeding or lethargic must be placed in the recovery box prior to being released.
vii. All fish placed in recovery boxes must be released to the river prior to landing or docking.
viii. 24-hour Quick reporting is required for Washington wholesale dealers, WAC 220-69-240.
ix. As a condition of fishing, owners or operators of commercial fishing vessels must cooperate with department observers or observers collecting data for the department, when notified by the observer of his or her intent to board the commercial vessel for observation and sampling during an open fishery.
x. Columbia River tangle net certification: This is any individual meeting the qualifications of RCW 77.65.040(2) and who obtained a tangle net certificate by attending and completing a WDFW/ODFW sponsored workshop concerning live captive commercial fishing techniques.
xi. Nothing in this section sets any precedent for any fishery after this spring Chinook fishery. The fact that an individual received a Columbia River tangle net certificate does not entitle the certificate holder to participate in any other fishery. If the department authorizes a tangle net fishery in any other time, WDFW may establish qualifications and requirements that are different from those established for this season. In particular, the department may consider an individual's compliance with these rules in determining that individual's eligibility to participate in any future tangle net fisheries.
2. Blind Slough Select Area
a) Area: Blind Slough and Knappa Slough areas. From May 1 through June 13, the lower boundary of the Knappa Slough fishing area is extended downstream to boundary lines defined by markers on the west end of Minaker Island to markers on Karlson Island and the Oregon shore (fall boundary). Concurrent Washington/Oregon waters extend downstream of the railroad bridge.
b) Dates: 7:00 p.m. Mondays to 7:00 a.m. Tuesdays, and 7:00 p.m. Thursdays to 7:00 a.m. Fridays from April 17 through June 13, 2008
c) Gear: 8-inch maximum mesh. Nets are restricted to 100 fathoms in length, with no weight restriction on leadline. Use of additional weights or anchors attached directly to the leadline is allowed.
d) Allowable sales: salmon, white sturgeon, and shad.
3. Deep River Select Area
a) Area: From the markers at USCG navigation marker #16, upstream to the Highway 4 Bridge.
b) Dates: 7:00 p.m. Mondays to 7:00 a.m. Tuesdays, and 7:00 p.m. Thursdays to 7:00 a.m. Fridays from April 17 through June 13, 2008.
c) Gear: 8-inch maximum. Nets are restricted to a maximum length of 100 fathoms with no weight restriction on leadline. Use of additional weights or anchors attached directly to the leadline is allowed. Nets cannot be tied off of any stationary structures. Nets may not fully cross the navigation channel.
d) Allowable sales: salmon, white sturgeon, and shad.
e) Miscellaneous: Transportation or possession of fish outside the fishing area (except to the sampling station) is unlawful until department staff has biologically sampled individual catches. After sampling, fishers will be issued a transportation permit by agency staff.
The following section of the Washington Administrative Code is repealed:
|WAC 220-33-01000D||Columbia River seasons below Bonneville. (08-58)|
|WAC 220-33-01000E||Columbia River seasons below Bonneville.|