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Aquatic nuisance species.
(1) The following species are designated as deleterious exotic wildlife and aquatic nuisance species:
(a) Zebra mussels, including Dreissena polymorpha and other species commonly known as quagga;
(b) The European green crab, Carcinus maenas; and
(c) Chinese mitten crabs, including all members of the genus Eriocheir.
(2) It is unlawful to intentionally import into the state or possess aquatic nuisance species except as provided in this section.
(3) Zebra mussels: It is unlawful to import live aquatic organisms, including plants, for release into state waters from any state or Canadian province east of the Continental Divide without each importation being accompanied by a zebra mussel-free certificate issued by the department and signed by the supplier of the aquatic organisms. The original receiver in the state of Washington of the shipment of aquatic organisms is required to retain the zebra mussel-free certificate for two years. Secondary receivers, while in possession of live aquatic organisms, are required to retain invoices or other records showing who was the original receiver.
(4) Scientific research: The director may authorize, by prior written permit, a person to possess aquatic nuisance species for scientific research, provided:
(a) Specimens are confined to a secure facility, defined as an enclosure that will prevent the escape or release of aquatic nuisance species or any form of aquatic nuisance species larvae, is not a natural watercourse, and is inaccessible to wildlife or other animals that could transport aquatic nuisance species.
(b) Specimens are not transferred to any other facility without written approval by the director or designee.
(c) All zebra mussels are incinerated or chemically preserved at the conclusion of the project, and the enclosure, holding waters and all equipment are disinfected. All other aquatic nuisance species must be killed at the conclusion of the project and either chemically preserved or disposed of in a landfill.
(d) The permittee provides an annual report to the department, no later than January 31 of the following year, on a form provided by the department, describing the number, size and location of aquatic nuisance species enclosures and general nature of the research.
(5) Monitoring and control programs: The director may authorize persons working within the scope and supervision of a department-sponsored monitoring and control program to capture, possess and destroy aquatic nuisance species, provided:
(a) The persons have completed a mandatory training program and are certified by the department;
(b) The persons have a permit authorized by the director or designee in possession;
(c) All aquatic nuisance species are disposed of in accordance with the monitoring and control program; and
(d) Participants submit a report to the department within thirty days of any monitoring or control activity in accordance with the specifications outlined in the monitoring and control program.
(6) Abatement. Except as provided for in subsection (4) of this section, the department may take action to prevent or abate introduced aquatic nuisance species as a public nuisance, including but not limited to chemical treatment of the water containing the aquatic nuisance species or object to which an aquatic nuisance species is attached, heat treatment of such object, or other abatement measures as are appropriate. The possessor of aquatic nuisance species may be responsible for costs incurred by the department in abating an aquatic nuisance species infestation.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 77.12.040
. WSR 99-08-024 (Order 99-19), § 232-12-01701, filed 3/29/99, effective 4/29/99. Statutory Authority: RCW 77.12.020
. WSR 96-15-096 (Order 96-80), § 232-12-01701, filed 7/19/96, effective 8/19/96.]