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Current Rule Making Activity

  • Hunting Seasons: 3-year Package 
    The Department is considering rule making for the following: deer and elk seasons and permits; cougar seasons and regulations; black bear seasons and regulations; mountain goat, bighorn sheep, and moose seasons, permits, and regulations; bighorn sheep marking requirements; wildlife management and wildlife interactions; game bird regulations; small game seasons; game farms and shooting preserves; trapping; landowner hunting permit program; deer and elk area boundaries; game management units, special closures and firearm restriction areas; unlawful methods for hunting; hunting equipment rules; special hunting season permits; hunters with disabilities; general recreational licensing rules; general rules; and other hunting regulations. 

  • Hunting and fishing rules that apply to individuals with disabilities
    The department seeks to better define hunting and fishing privileges that apply to the disabled and designated licensed hunters and fishers.

  • Amendment to an existing rule to establish a plastic license document
    RCW 77.32.256 allows the director to set the conditions and fees on duplicates. The new license document option will be a plastic "hard card" that will be more convenient for anglers and hunters to carry than the current paper licenses. The "hard card" option will generate duplicate fees for the department from anglers and hunters who chose to purchase this new document in addition to the paper document. 

  • Amending and adding rules relating to Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) in WAC chapter 220-640
    During the 2014 legislative session, the legislature made substantial changes to the laws concerning Invasive Species and enacted RCW chapter 77.135 (Invasive Species). The department needs to amend and add to its current rules concerning Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) contained in WAC chapter 220-640 to reflect these statutory changes. 

  • Calculation of actual costs of producing copies of public records
    The department is providing a new rule to address the legal permission to charge the public for requested copies of agency documents. A new rule is mandated by 2017 legislation which provides the department authority in RCW 42.56.120 to charge the public fees for the cost of producing agency records.

  • Updating the term Wholesale Fish Dealer to Wholesale Fish Buyer in WAC 220-360-140
    Due to a clerical error, this rule amendment did not get published in the most recent version of the Washington State Register. This amendment was adopted by the Fish and Wildlife Commission on October 27, 2017.  

  • Recreational Fishing Rules
    The department is considering amendments to recreational fishing rules to provide fishing opportunity, to address conservation objectives and to simplify rules. The department may consider additional recreational fishing rule changes if necessary.

  • Wildlife in Captivity and Wildlife Rehabilitation
    The department is considering rule changes related to wildlife in captivity and wildlife rehabilitation.

  • Department Lands
    The department is considering rule changes related to department lands-general rules.

  • Wildlife Conflict Management and Wildlife Interactions
    The department is considering rule changes for wildlife conflict management and wildlife interactions.

  • Coastal Commercial Ocean Pink Shrimp Trawl Fishery
    The department wants to amend WAC 220-340-500 to ensure that the rules for the commercial ocean pink shrimp trawl fishery are consistent with marine fish and shellfish resource conservation and fishery sustainability.

  • Amendments to Hydraulic Code Rules
    These rules regulate aspects of construction projects in state waters for the protection of fish life. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's general goal in this rulemaking is to incorporate statutory changes, accommodate other changed conditions to protect fish life, or respond to requests by customers and other interested parties for improved clarity.

  • Columbia River fisheries above the Bonneville Dam
    Parties have agreed through the U.S. v. Oregon Fish Management Process and the Regulatory Consistency Committee to amend inconsistent rules to ensure uniformity, to provide clarity, and to increase enforceability of regulations in waters of concurrent jurisdiction. Portions of Title 220 in the Washington Administrative Code require amendments to reflect changes already implemented by Oregon and tribal governments concerning this federal case. Invitation to discuss rules on this subject

  • 2018 Recreational Clam and Oyster Seasons
    The department must annually amend recreational clam and oyster season rules on some public tidelands in response to shellfish population changes, shifts in recreational effort, conservation issues, and negotiations with treaty tribes and other state agencies. Such amendments are designed to perpetuate shellfish resources while maximizing recreational harvest opportunity.

  • Clarifies the types of endangered animals
    The purpose of this rule is to further define and clarify by scientific classification the covered animal species that are subject to RCW 77.08.010 and also referred to in Appendix I and II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species and the International Union for Conservation of Nature "Red List".

  • Geoduck Divers Licenses 
    WAC 220-340-070 needs clarification regarding the application process and how the Department would issue any remaining Geoduck Divers Licenses for any of the 77 licenses that are not renewed by December 31st.

  • Clarifies the limits of keeping salmon for personal use during an open commercial fishery
    The department needs to adopt a permanent rule to clarify the limits around keeping salmon for personal use during an open commercial salmon fishery. This rule will allow commercial fishermen to take home a daily limit of three salmon for personal use during commercial salmon fishing activity.

  • Trial fishery in Willapa Bay
    The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is interested in designating a trial commercial fishery in Willapa Bay for the purpose of testing a new gear type and intends to issue a limited number of Trial Fishery Permits that set the permissible time, place, and manner of fishing using a newly designated gear type. The gear type being considered is a floating fish trap. This fish trap uses non-permanent spuds to hold the trap in place; no permanent structures will be installed or used. This fish trap passively funnels adult salmon from the "lead", a net positioned at an angle from the shore, into a series of compartments leading to the final compartment or spiller. Fish are able to swim freely the entire time. Hatchery fish are then removed from the spiller and the natural-origin fish are released untouched through a door at the back of the fish trap to continue their trip upstream to spawn.

  • Possession and delivery of Canadian-origin food fish and shellfish
    The department needs to clarify the process for anglers who catch Canadian-based food fish and shellfish and land their catch in Washington state ports. The proposed change to the rule will make it easier for anglers to obtain a valid Canadian custom clearance number.

  • Records maintained by commercial fish and shellfish license holders and commercial wildlife vendors
    The department seeks to clarify the types of records that must be maintained by commercial fish and shellfish license holders and commercial wildlife vendors. The Fish and Wildlife Code (RCW Title 77) provides authority for the department to define the records required of certain commercial fish, shellfish, and wildlife businesses. Department rules are currently insufficient. The department needs to better clarify the records requirements in rule pursuant to RCW 77.15.096.

  • Establishing logbook requirements for freshwater game fish guides, food fish guides and combination game fish and food fish guides
    To collect fishing effort, catch and harvest data from all freshwater fishing guides and their clients to understand the seasonal and geographic utilization of fishery resources by the guide industry statewide.

  • Coastal Commercial Directed Sardine Purse Seine Fishery Rules
    The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is considering rule amendments relating to the commercial harvest of sardine with purse seine gear.

  • Cougar Hunting Rules
    The department is considering rule changes related to cougar seasons and regulations. Amendments are needed to provide recreational opportunity while maintaining sustainable game populations.

  • Charter Stamps and Charter Boat Operators Rule Making
    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. The legislature passed a bill on the subject during the 2015 legislative session, and this rule project will compliment this legislation to ensure the charter stamp program is not abused. The proposed rule project 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. Rules related to the responsibilities of charter operators, catch record cards and recording of catch, and definitions will be considered. Amendments to existing permanent rules may be included to achieve the goals of this rulemaking project.

  • Fair Chase and technology use while hunting
    The Department is considering amendments to hunting rules regarding fair chase and regulating the use of technology while hunting. The department needs to amend rules related to fair chase and the use of technology while hunting to keep pace with advances in technology. Ancillary amendments to definitions and other rules may be included to accomplish rule amendments, as well as any technical changes needed to rules to ensure accuracy, consistency, and clarity of rules.

  • 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 - 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.