North of Falcon- Coastal Commercial Fisheries

Rule-making status: Permanent

The purpose of this rulemaking is to regulate the commercial salmon fisheries in Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor.
These rules are part of a comprehensive suite of rulemaking packages to implement the new 2022-2023 salmon seasons for Washington State, developed through the broader North of Falcon process pursuant to the Fish and Wildlife Commission’s North of Falcon Policy C-3608 for 2019-2023.

The North of Falcon process typically begins in January and consists of government-to-government meetings involving the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), treaty tribes, and WDFW representatives. Separate meetings are held with
stakeholders—both at a statewide and regional level—to review preseason run size forecasts, NMFS guidance relative to
allowable impacts for species listed under the Endangered Species Act, which includes salmon, but other protected species as well, such as Southern Resident Killer Whales.

Stakeholder meetings specific to the Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor fisheries were held in February, March, and April, and
the public hearing on the proposed rules was held on June 22, 2022. The comprehensive North of Falcon meeting schedule and the meeting agendas, handouts, and audio recordings of the public meetings are available on WDFW’s website at:

While these rules regulate only commercial fisheries, the seasons specified in these rules are an integral part of implementing commercial and recreational fisheries in a coordinated manner pursuant to the Willapa Bay Salmon Management Policy C-3622 and Grays Harbor Basin Salmon Management Policy C-3621. As such, the commercial fisheries for 2022-23 are structured in a manner intended to consider and provide both commercial and recreational fishing opportunities in Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor, while ensuring conservation requirements and management objectives in federal and state laws and regulations, state/tribal harvest management agreements, and Fish and Wildlife Commission policies are met.

Even though drafted as amendments to preceding rules, these new amendments function as a coordinated and unitary
fishery rulemaking package for the 2022-23 fishery season, and thus substantively replace prior years’ fisheries in Willapa
Bay and Grays Harbor. Specifically, these rules replace and supersede the language in WAC 220-354-250 for the Willapa
Bay salmon fall fishery and WAC 220-354-290 for the Grays Harbor salmon fall fishery in their entirety.

Public comments

The public comment period has closed as of June 22, 2022.

To view comments submitted on this proposal, please visit the North of Falcon Public Engagement page

Public hearing

June 22, 2022 at 2:00 pm via Zoom Webinar

For more information

Visit the North of Falcon page

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