Current rule-making activity (Rule-making docket)

We invite you to participate in our rulemaking process. WDFW is actively considering the rule-making proceedings listed below. Chapter 220-111 WAC provides procedures for inspecting or requesting copies of rulemaking files.

You will see rules in various stages of the rule-making process:

  • Pending rule-making” means that we have filed proposed rules with the Washington State Legislature’s Code Reviser’s Office. These links will take you to the documents that include the information, timeline, and contact information for each rule-making.
  • "Preproposals” means that we may develop and file proposed rules on these topics.

Contact information
Annie Szvetecz
Agency rules coordinator
Rules.Coordinator@dfw.wa.gov
 

Pending rule-making

WAC 220-460 Commercial Whale Watching

This rule making adopts changes Chapter 220-460 in order to implement amendments to RCW 77.65.615 through ESB 5330 in the 2021 legislative session. The bill changes the commercial whale watching license structure: It separates business licenses from operator licenses, eliminates the “designated” and “alternate” operator distinctions, and creates a separate license for motorized commercial whale watching operators and non-motorized tour operators (e.g. kayak guides). The bill also exempts Canadian businesses from needing proof of authorization to do business in Washington (i.e. providing a Unified Business Identifier, UBI) and Canadian individuals from the residency requirement in RCW 77.65.040. The bill also modifies the fee structure and waives fees for 2021 and 2022.

Public Comment Period:

This rule is being proposed under an expedited rule making process that will eliminate the need for the agency to hold public hearings, prepare a small business economic impact statement, or provide responses to the criteria for a significant legislative rule. Objections must be made in writing and must be sent to rules.coordinator@dfw.wa.gov

For More Information:
https://wdfw.wa.gov/species-habitats/at-risk/species-recovery/orca/rule-making

Coastal Recreational Bottomfish Rule Changes

This rulemaking adopted amendments to Chapter 220-314 WAC. The amended rules include:

  • WAC 220-314-040 Bottomfish and halibut – Closed areas. This change would open the Westport Offshore Recreational YRCA and the South Coast Recreational YRCA to fishing for, retaining, and possessing bottomfish or halibut.
  • WAC 220-314-020 Possession limits – Bottomfish This change would allow 5 flatfish in addition to the 9 fish daily bottomfish limit.
  • WAC 220-314-030 Halibut – Seasons – Daily and possession limits Regulation changes to revise depth restrictions in Marine Area 1 through 4.
  • WAC 220-314-040 Lingcod – Areas and Seasons A deepwater closed area is in place in Marine Area 1 and Marine Area 2.
Public Hearing:

This rule is being proposed under an expedited rule-making process that will eliminate the need for the agency to hold public hearings, prepare a small business economic impact statement, or provide responses to the criteria for a significant legislative rule. Any objections to this rule making must be made in writing and must be sent to heather.hall@dfw.wa.gov.

For More Information:

https://wdfw.wa.gov/species-habitats/species/bottomfish

Staff Contact: heather.hall@dfw.wa.gov

Commercial Dungeness crab fishing regulations

The Department is considering changes to coastal commercial Dungeness crab fishing regulations and experimental gear testing and regulations pertaining to electronic fish ticket reporting for some coastal and Puget Sound commercial fisheries where electronic reporting is not already mandatory.

Public Comment Period:

For submitting comments on this preproposal notice, please email: commercialcrab@PublicInput.com

or visit the public comment webpage for this proposal.

Comments for this proposal will be accepted until the close of the comment period on September 15, 2021.

Public Hearing:

September 16-18, 2021, 8:00 AM
Visit our website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/about/commission/meetings or contact the Commission office at (360) 902-2267 email: commission@dfw.wa.gov for instruction on how to join the meeting

Periodic Status Review - Ferruginous Hawk

The department is conducting periodic status reviews for species currently listed as sensitive, threated, or endangered.  

Public Comment Period:

For submitting comments on this preproposal notice, please email: FerrunginousHawk@PublicInput.com

or visit the public comment webpage for this proposal.

Comments for this proposal will be accepted until the close of the comment period on August 7, 2021.

Public Hearing:

August 6-7, 2021 8:00 a.m. - Webinar
Register for the public hearing webinar: https://wdfw.wa.gov/about/commission/meetings/public-testimony
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. 

Date of Intended Adoption: August 27, 2021

Staff Contact: Heather.Bonagofski@dfw.wa.gov

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Contact:
Title VI/ADA Compliance Coordinator  
Phone: (360) 902-2349, TTY (711)  
Email: Title6@dfw.wa.gov

Testing commercial fishing gear

The department seeks to clarify the requirements for notifying department law enforcement officers about testing commercial fishing gear.

Public Comment Period:

Written comments were due by April 4, 2019. The comment period is closed.

Public Hearing:

A public meeting was held in person on April 5-6, 2019 at 8 am at 1111 Washington St SE, Olympia WA 98501. The audio transcript of the meeting is available here.

Preproposals

Fish Program Recreational Fishing Rules

The department is considering rule making for recreational fishing to address conservation objectives and harvest opportunities.

Public Comment Period:

For submitting comments on this preproposal notice, please email: recreationalfishing@PublicInput.com

or visit the public comment website for this proposal.

2022 Spring Black Bear Rules and Regulations

The department is considering rule changes to WAC 220-415-080 2021 Spring black bear special permits, to set season dates and permit numbers for Spring of 2022.

Public Comment Period:

For submitting comments on this preproposal notice please email: 2020SpringBear@PublicInput.com 

or visit the public comment webpage for this proposal.

Columbia River Commercial Fish

This rule making would expand the types of gears available for commercial harvesting of salmon in the Columbia River and reduce the number of Washington non-treaty commercial licenses participating in the Columbia River gillnet fishery. The adopted rules would:

  • Designate an Emerging Commercial Fishery in the Lower Columbia River to allow prohibited gears such as seines and pound nets (RCW.77.50.030) to be used commercially to harvest salmon, while gathering information to present to the WA legislature when it is time for the legislature to decide whether to establish permanent fisheries using these additional gears.
  • Enable the Department to initiate a voluntary license buyback. The license buyback program would reduce the number of Columbia River commercial gillnet licenses to better align fishing capacity with resource availability and fishing opportunity, thus supporting a more viable fishery for remaining license holders.
Public Comment Period:

For submitting comments on this preproposal notice, please email: ColumbiaRiverFish@PublicInput.com
or visit the public comment webpage for this proposal.

Importation of Dead Non-resident Wildlife and Special Closures

The department is considering rule changes to WAC 220-413-030 Importation and retention of dead nonresident wildlife and WAC 220-413-180 Special closures and firearm restriction areas.

Public Comment Period:

TBA

Dog Aversion Training

The department is considering rule changes to govern the for-profit use of specific wildlife species for dog aversion training.

Public Comment Period:

For submitting comments on this preproposal notice please email: DogTraining@PublicInput.com

or visit the public comment webpage for this proposal.

Commercial shellfish rules

The department is considering changes to commercial shellfish rules.

Public Comment Period:

For submitting comments on this preproposal notice, please email: CommercialShellfish@PublicInput.com

Or visit the public comment webpage for this proposal.

Periodic Status Review - Island Marble Butterfly

The department is considering a recommendation to classify island marble butterfly as state endangered, threatened, or sensitive (WAC 220-610-010 and WAC
220-200-100).

Public Comment Period:

For submitting comments on this preproposal notice, please email: IslandMarbleButterfly@PublicInput.com

or visit the public comment webpage for this proposal.

Periodic Status Review - Cascade Red Fox

The department is considering a recommendation to classify Cascade red fox as state endangered, threatened, or sensitive (WAC 220-610-010 and WAC
220-200-100).

Public Comment Period:

For submitting comments on this preproposal notice, please email: CascadeRedFox@PublicInput.com

or visit the public comment webpage for this proposal.

Wolf management

The department is considering rule changes related to wolf management in WAC chapter 220-400.

Public Comment Period:

For submitting comments on this preproposal notice, please email: WolfManagement@PublicInput.com

or visit the public comment webpage for this proposal.

Public Hearing:

A Public Hearing is expected to be scheduled April 2022.

Wolf Management Rule Making Timeline

  • January 2022

    Expected CR-102 Proposed Rule Making Filing

    A public comment period will occur after the proposed rule filing. The public is encouraged to comment at that time.

  • October 13, 2020

    CR-101 filed

    Initial preproposal announcement of rule making. 

October 2020

Fish passage

The department is considering new rules to implement the Fishway, Flow and Screening statute (RCW 77.57) and ESB 1109, which became effective on May 21, 2019.

Public Comment Period:

For submitting comments on this preproposal notice, please email: FishPassage@PublicInput.com

or visit our public comment webpage for this proposal.

Collection of wildlife parts

The department is seeking to amend and clarify rules regarding the collection and retrieval of wildlife parts from public lands. 

Public Comment Period:

For submitting comments on this preproposal notice please email: WildlifeParts@PublicInput.com

or visit the public comment webpage for this proposal.

Hunters with disabilities

To create uniformity between the existing rules and the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and to simplify the accommodation process for hunters with disabilities.

Public Comment Period: TBD

Black bear timber damage depredation permits

The department is considering amendments to WAC 220-440-210; Wildlife management and Wildlife Interactions, Black bear timber depredation permits.

Public Comment Period: TBD

Amending and consolidating hearing rules into one chapter under WAC Title 220

Currently, the department provides the public certain administrative hearing rights based on agency actions and decisions that are described in numerous rules scattered within WAC Title 220. To better inform the public and satisfy the requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act under RCW chapter 34.05, the department needs to consolidate and clarify its administrative hearing rules into one chapter.

Periodic Status Review: Gray Wolf

The department is conducting a periodic status review for gray wolf. The department will review all relevant data pertaining to the population status and factors affecting existence in Washington for gray wolf. Based on the information collected and reviewed, the department will make recommendations to maintain the species current listing status as endangered or reclassify species to sensitive or threatened or other status.

Public Comment Period:

For submitting comments on this preproposal notice please email: GrayWolf@PublicInput.com

or visit the public comment webpage for this proposal.

Amend aquaculture regulations in WAC chapter 220-370

Because of passage of EHB 2957 in the 2018 legislative session, the department needs to amend regulations in WAC chapter 220-370 and make additional changes to these rules.