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77.15.250  <<  77.15.253 >>   77.15.260

RCW 77.15.253

Unlawful use of prohibited aquatic animal species — Penalty.


     *** CHANGE IN 2014 *** (SEE 6040-S.SL) ***

(1) A person is guilty of unlawful use of a prohibited aquatic animal species if he or she possesses, imports, purchases, sells, propagates, transports, or releases a prohibited aquatic animal species within the state, except as provided in this section.

     (2) Unless otherwise prohibited by law, a person may:

     (a) Transport prohibited aquatic animal species to the department, or to another destination designated by the director, in a manner designated by the director, for purposes of identifying a species or reporting the presence of a species;

     (b) Possess a prohibited aquatic animal species if he or she is in the process of removing it from watercraft or equipment in a manner specified by the department;

     (c) Release a prohibited aquatic animal species if the species was caught while fishing and it is being immediately returned to the water from which it came; or

     (d) Possess, transport, or release a prohibited aquatic animal species as the commission may otherwise prescribe.

     (3) Unlawful use of a prohibited aquatic animal species is a gross misdemeanor. A subsequent violation of subsection (1) of this section within five years is a class C felony.

     (4) A person is guilty of unlawful release of a regulated aquatic animal species if he or she releases a regulated aquatic animal species into state waters, unless allowed by the commission.

     (5) Unlawful release of a regulated aquatic animal species is a gross misdemeanor.

     (6) A person is guilty of unlawful release of an unlisted aquatic animal species if he or she releases an unlisted aquatic animal species into state waters without requesting a commission designation under RCW 77.12.020.

     (7) Unlawful release of an unlisted aquatic animal species is a gross misdemeanor.

     (8) This section does not apply to:

     (a) The transportation or release of organisms in ballast water;

     (b) A person stopped at an aquatic invasive species check station who possesses a recreational or commercial watercraft that is contaminated with an aquatic invasive species, if that person complies with all department directives for the proper decontamination of the watercraft and equipment; or

     (c) A person who has voluntarily submitted a recreational or commercial watercraft for inspection by the department and has received a receipt verifying that the watercraft has not been contaminated since its last use.

[2007 c 350 § 5; 2002 c 281 § 4.]

Notes:

     Purpose -- 2002 c 281: See note following RCW 77.08.010.