Current Rule Making Activity


  • 2015 North of Falcon Rules - Puget Sound Commercial Salmon Fishery
    Puget Sound commercial salmon fishing rules are based on North of Falcon recommendations that change from year to year to reflect resource availability and to achieve conservation goals. Rule amendments to Puget Sound commercial salmon fishing rules are needed to implement the agreed-upon changes.

  • Amendments to wildlife interaction, depredation and hazing rules
    The department is considering amending rules regarding wildlife interaction, depredation, hazing, and wildlife control operators to adjust for organizational changes within the agency and to update rules to address current operational needs.

  • 2015 North of Falcon Rules - Recreational Salmon Fishery
    Recreational salmon fishing rules based on North of Falcon recommendations change from year to year to reflect resource availability and to achieve conservation goals. Amendments to recreational salmon fishing rules are needed to implement the agreed-upon changes.

  • Migratory Waterfowl Seasons and Regulations
    The Department is proposing changes to migratory waterfowl seasons and regulations to make needed adjustments to rules to provide recreational opportunity while promoting conservation of resources.

  • Amend recreational bottomfish rules for Quilcene Bay and Dabob Bay
    In a response to a petition for rulemaking to open Hood Canal to recreational harvest of bottomfish, the Fish and Wildlife Commission directed to the department to initiate rulemaking to explore changes to recreational fishing rules for selected species of bottomfish in Quilcene Bay and Dabob Bay. Potential rule changes would provide recreational fishing opportunity on selected species of bottomfish consistent with conservation objectives.

  • Commercial Fishery Rules and Fish Receiving Ticket Rules
    The Department is considering rule amendments relating to commercial fishery and fish receiving ticket rules to improve the intent and enforceability of rules that define, describe or authorize delivery of fish and shellfish to shore-based facilities or dealers, and processing or freezing of catch onboard vessels at-sea. The Department withdrew its initial filing as it did not include shellfish, which should be included in this proposed rulemaking. The Department filed a new CR-101 to broaden the rulemaking to include shellfish.

  • 2015 North of Falcon Rules - Coastal Commercial Salmon Fishery
    Coastal commercial salmon fishing rules are based on North of Falcon recommendations that change from year to year to reflect resource availability and to achieve conservation goals. Amendments to coastal commercial salmon fishing rules are needed to implement the agreed-upon changes.

  • 2015 North of Falcon Rules - Columbia River Commercial Salmon Fishery
    Commercial salmon fishing rules based on North of Falcon recommendations change from year to year to reflect resource availability and to achieve conservation goals. Amendments to Columbia River commercial salmon fishing rules are needed to implement the agreed-upon changes.

  • Steller sea lion Delisting
    The department is considering the removal of Steller sea lions from the state's threatened species list (WAC 232-12-011). Delisting criteria are described in WAC 232-12-297(4.1) and (4.2). The agency is initiating the delisting process in accordance with WAC 232-12-297(6.1.1).

  • 2015-2017 Hunting Seasons and Regulations
    The department is considering rule making regarding hunting and trapping seasons, limits, and permits for big game, small game, and upland birds; GMUs and area boundaries; migratory bird hunting restriction areas and game reserves; hunter education instructor certification; hunters with disabilities; and amendments to other permanent rules regulating the taking of wildlife.

  • New Combination Recreational Fishing Licenses
    The department is considering new rules to establish new types of combination fishing licenses. Chapter 77.32 RCW allows the Fish and Wildlife Commission to set the period of validity for a license and to combine licenses to one license at a fee less than the cost of the combined licenses. Creating new combination fishing licenses will increase participation in all angling activities, improve retention of customers, and grow revenue opportunities for the department.

  • Slope rockfish sorting rule amendments
    The department is considering amendments to WAC 220-44-050 and 220-69-230 to: (1) Add requirements for the reporting of slope rockfish species delivered into the state, and (2) Update agency contact information. Effective January 1, 2015, federal regulations will require the sorting of three slope rockfish species when landed into the state. This rule change is needed to effectively comply with the revised federal regulations and maintain or improve the accuracy of the department's catch accounting and port sampling efforts.

  • Aquatic Invasive Species Rules
    The department is considering rulemaking involving Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) rules. The Legislature adopted ESSB 6040 (codified as Chapter 77.135 RCW) in 2014 which implements a more robust AIS program under the primary authority of the department. The department needs rules to implement the expanded program to provide additional protection against the spread of aquatic invasive species. Rulemaking will embody the principles of prevention as the highest priority, identify allowable certificate of inspection forms for aquatic conveyances entering the state, determine exemptions to clean and drain requirements where there is minimal risk of spreading invasive species, set inspection and decontamination station standards, and establish types of services department-authorized representatives can perform.

  • Rules to allow temporary possession of live wildlife when transporting to a wildlife rehabilitator
    The department is considering changes to rules involving Wildlife Rehabilitation as required by session law 2014 c 48 s 25. The Legislature passed ESSB 6041 during the 2014 Legislative Session directing the department to adopt rules for permissible temporary actions that include, at a minimum, the conditions under which a person may capture or transport wildlife to a primary permittee, subpermittee, or rehabilitation facility.

  • Technical Rule Changes to Fish and Wildlife Rules
    The department is considering several technical rule amendments in various chapters of department rules to reflect industry practice, to update and clarify language and rule titles, and make structural improvements as part of WDFW's efforts to update and streamline its Washington Administrative Code. Changes may include consolidating or splitting rules for clarity of subject matter and may also include the repeal of rules as appropriate.

  • Cougar Public Safety Rules and Wildlife Interaction Rules involving Wildlife Control Operators
    The department is considering amending cougar public safety rules to address human-cougar incidents, cougar-livestock and cougar-pet depredations. The department is also considering amending rules regarding Wildlife Control Operators to adjust for organizational changes within the agency.

  • Wildlife Interaction Rules
    The Department is considering changes to Wildlife Interaction rules including management of wolf conflicts consistent with the state Wolf Conservation and Management Plan.

  • Aquatic Invasive Species Rules Related to Aquaculture
    The department seeks to amend the rules related to shellfish aquaculture disease and pest control to provide additional protection against the spread of Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS).

  • Hunters and fishers with disabilities WAC changes
    The department is considering amendments to hunters and fishers with disabilities to ensure compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and to update, streamline and simplify requirements for hunters and fishers with disabilities.

  • Giant Pacific Octopus rule project
    Rule changes are needed to accurately reflect the location coordinates of the seven giant Pacific octopus protected areas. The department will consider making other technical changes to the rule where appropriate as part of this proposed rulemaking project.

  • Technical changes to WAC 220-52-042 (Commercial crab buoy tag provisions)
    The Department is considering amendments to WAC 220-52-042, Commercial crab fishery—Buoy tag, pot tag, and buoy requirements, to ensure it is clear that only current, department-issued buoy tags are used in the commercial crab fishery.

  • Possession of personal-use shellfish in the field
    The Department is considering rule changes related to possession of personal-use shellfish in the field. Changes to rules regarding possession of personal-use shellfish in the field are needed to make requirements clear and uniform, and to meet the practical needs of enforcement officers in the field. The department will specifically consider requiring recreational shellfish harvesters to keep harvested shellfish, beyond razor clams and shrimp, in separate containers while in the field so fish and wildlife officers can clearly identify limits. The department will also consider technical language and structural changes where appropriate, including potential consolidation of rules.

  • Hunting License Rules
    The department is considering amending hunting license rules to encourage public participation in hunting and outdoor recreation activities.

  • Columbia River Emerging Commercial Fishery rule project
    Rule changes are needed to implement guidance provided in Fish and Wildlife Commission Policy C-3620, Columbia River Basin Salmon Management, in the Lower Columbia River. The policy calls for development of fisheries that promote the use of alternative selective gear, such as purse seines and beach seines. The department may propose new rules relating to emerging commercial fisheries as part of this project.

     
  • Electronic Fish Receiving Tickets
    The Department is considering allowing commercial purchasers and receivers to use electronic fish tickets even if the purchasers and receivers do not participate in the Pacific Coast Groundfish Shoreside Individual Fishing Quota Program.

  • Charter stamp validation
    The department needs a rule to prohibit fishing guides and charter-boat operators from re-using charter stamps rather than issuing a new stamp to each customer who needs a fishing license. This practice defrauds the state of license revenue. The proposed rule will: (1) lay out the process for validating charter stamps so the stamps cannot be reused; and (2) ensure that charter-stamp-validation violations and the re-use of stamps are penalized appropriately.

  • Removing Steller’s sea lion from the Endangered Species list
    Steller sea lion is currently listed as Threatened (WAC 232-12-011). Delisting criteria are described in WAC 232-12-297(4.1) and (4.2). The agency is initiating the delisting process in accordance with WAC 232-12-297(6.1.1), based on a federal determination that the species is no longer in danger of failing, declining, or vulnerable.

  • Elwha summer/fall Chinook hatchery program’s revised Hatchery Genetic Management Plan (HGMP)
    This project is not a rule proposal. It is a revised Hatchery and Genetic Management Plan (HGMP) for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (WDFW’s) Elwha Hatchery summer/fall Chinook salmon artificial production program. The HGMP is available for a 30-day public review and comment period. The HGMP describes, in a format prescribed by NOAA fisheries, the operation of the artificial production program for summer/fall Chinook salmon in the Elwha River and the potential effects of the program on listed species. The HGMP will be provided to NOAA fisheries for consideration as a significant conservation measure under Section 4(d) of the Endangered Species Act.

  • Marking requirements for commercial fishing nets, reporting requirements for lost or abandoned commercial nets, and penalties for failing to report lost or abandoned nets.
    The Northwest Straits Initiative (NWSI) has removed 3,829 derelict fishing nets and 2,045 derelict crab pots since it began operations in 2002. More than 2.4 million animals were estimated to be entangled by the gear every year, including mammals, birds, fish, and invertebrates. Removing the gear restored 525 acres of marine habitat. NWSI estimates total gillnet loss since the 1970s to be approximately 5,600 nets. Changing commercial net-marking requirements, requiring commercial fishermen to report lost and abandoned nets, and penalizing a failure to report will allow the Department to identify the quantity and location of lost commercial net gear. This will assist derelict gear removal efforts, which in turn will reduce the number of animals lost to derelict gear and will help preserve marine habitat.

  • Development of rules regarding recreational access to Department Lands
    New rules are needed to implement the SSSB 5622, the Discover Washington Pass bill, to provide recreational access to Department lands.

  • 2011 Columbia River Recreational Sturgeon Fishing Regulations
    Fishery managers from Washington and Oregon meet annually to plan and set rules for lower Columbia River sturgeon fisheries to help meet annual harvest guidelines by setting appropriate retention seasons and to protect sturgeon in the spawning size segment of the population.  The Department revised the rules for 2011 based on actions adopted at the joint Washington-Oregon public hearing on February 8, 2011 that are consistent with Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission guidance for 2011 lower Columbia River sturgeon management and with the Joint State Accord on 2011-2013 Columbia River Sturgeon Fishery Management.

    In addition, language describing previously adopted rules for sturgeon in the Columbia River from the Highway 395 Bridge at Pasco upstream to Priest Rapids Dam is clarified.

  • Removal of minerals, wood and artifacts from department lands 
    Certain resources on department-owned and leased land are being used in a manner not intended by the department. For example, large, old snags are being cut down for firewood. The department would like to prohibit this activity and make other changes to resource-use on its land.

  • Use of lighted buoys at the end of gill nets when fishing at night
    Requires commercial nets to have lighted buoys on the ends of the nets when fishing at night.

  • Non-Indian commercial fisheries
    Clarifies, defines and redefines definitions for different types of nets in non-Indian commercial fisheries.

  • Ballast Water Discharge Performance Standards
    This rule will set ballast water discharge performance standards and an implementation timeline for vessels of three hundred gross tons or more to meet those standards for adequately reducing aquatic invasive species risks in state waters. For more information, please see the WDFW Ballast Water Program Website.