Current rule-making activity

The following rule changes are currently open to public comment or will be available for public comment in the future.


  • Training program that provides dog training opportunities 
    The Agency frequently calls upon dog handlers to assist during public safety incidents or property depredation from dangerous wildlife. In these cases, the handlers are acting in the capacity of Agents of the State; however, opportunity for handlers to keep dogs trained to be prepared in between calls for service has not been an option in Washington State. This rulemaking will help to ensure that working dogs are available during these calls for service and that the dogs used are trained for quick and skilled action. This program will be monitored and administered through the enforcement program. A limited number of individuals will be selected and approved through extensive background checks and agency requirements.
     
  • Special Trapping Permits
    Department staff will brief the Commission on proposed amendments to existing WAC 220-417-040.
    House Bill 1917, as passed by the 2019 legislative session, amended RCW 77.15.194 to provide that an airport operator may obtain a special trapping permit once every three years, and must annually report the previous year's trapping activity to the department. This proposed rule change amends WAC 220-417-040 to reflect the same.
     
    • CR-101 – filed as WSR 19-12-041 on May 29, 2019
      Invitation to discuss rules on this subject
    • CR 102 – Filed as WSR 19-16-112 on August 5, 2019
      Notice and opportunity to comment on this current rule-making proposal

      Public Comment Period: August 8 – 29, 2019
      Written Comments are due by August 29, 2019
      Written comments may be emailed to: Wildthing.wa.gov
      Or mailed to: Wildlife Program, PO Box 43200, Olympia, WA 98504
      Fax: 360-902-2162

      Conference Call: This meeting will take place by telephone conference call. The public may listen to the discussion. Please contact Commission staff at (360) 902-2267 or commission@dfw.wa.gov to obtain call in information no later than 3 p.m. on September 26, 2019.
       
  • Hunter Pink
    The Department is amending existing rules affected by the passing of Senate Bill (SB) 5148 during the 2019 legislative session.
     
    • CR-101 - files as WSR 19-11-131 on May 22, 2019
      Invitation to discuss rules on this subject
    • CR 102 – Filed as WSR 19-16-111 on August 5, 2019.
      Notice and opportunity to comment on this current rule-making proposal

      Public Comment Period: August 8 – 29, 2019
      Written Comments are due by August 29, 2019
      Written comments may be emailed to: Wildthing.wa.gov
      Or mailed to: Wildlife Program, PO Box 43200, Olympia, WA 98504
      Fax: 360-902-2162

      Conference Call: This meeting will take place by telephone conference call. The public may listen to the discussion. Please contact Commission staff at (360) 902-2267 or commission@dfw.wa.gov to obtain call in information no later than 3 p.m. on September 26, 2019.
       
  • Collection of Wildlife parts
    The department is seeking to amend and clarify rules regarding the collection and retrieval of wildlife parts from public lands. 
     
  • Modifying existing recreational Fish Washington package and creating multiple recreational packages for the public 
    The department is modifying one of its existing packages and creating new packages to improve convenience and ease of purchase for the public as well as to reduce overall purchasing costs. 
     
    • CR-101 – filed as WSR 19-11-127 on May 22, 2019
      Invitation to discuss rules on this subject
    • CR-102 filed as WSR 19-14-128 on July 3, 2019
      Notice and opportunity to comment on this current rule-making proposal
       
    • Public Comment Period: 
      Written comments are due by September 10, 2019 
      Written comments may be emailed to Rules.Coordinator@dfw.wa.gov 
      Or mailed to: Scott Bird, WDFW Rules Coordinator 
      600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091 
      Fax: 360-902-2155 

      A public hearing will take place on September 13-14, 2019 at 8:00 a.m. 
      Sun Mountain Lodge 
      604 Patterson Lake Road 
      Winthrop, WA 98862 
       
  • The department seeks to establish new rules concerning the accounting of funds received from the sales of packaged recreational licenses
    There is a need to clarify the accounting of funds received from the sales of packaged recreational licenses.
     
    • CR-101 – filed as WSR 19-09-081 on April 17, 2019
      Invitation to discuss rules on this subject
    • CR-102 filed as WSR 19-14-127 on July 3, 2019
      Notice and opportunity to comment on this current rule-making proposal
       
    • Public Comment Period:
      Written comments are due by September 10, 2019
      Written comments may be emailed to Rules.Coordinator@dfw.wa.gov
      Or mailed to: Scott Bird, WDFW Rules Coordinator 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091
      Fax: 360-902-2155

      A public hearing will take place on September 13-14, 2019 at 8:00 a.m.
      Sun Mountain Lodge
      604 Patterson Lake Road Winthrop, WA 98862
       
  • Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead Endorsement
    The department needs to change its rule concerning the Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead Endorsement (CRSSE) to conform to state law.
     

 

  • Amend regulations pertaining to aquatic invasive species in WAC chapter 220-640.
    The department needs to clarify regulations for the public concerning the possession of aquatic invasive species and inspection of vessels and boating equipment to check for harmful aquatic invasive species under WAC chapter 220-640.
     
  • Spring black bear hunting seasons and regulations
    The department is considering rule changes for spring black bear hunting seasons and regulations.
     
  • Freshwater Recreational Gamefish rules
    The department is considering amendments to freshwater recreational gamefish rules to provide fishing opportunity, to address conservation objectives, to satisfy legislation, and to simplify rules.
     
  • Recreational Marine Fish/Shellfish Rule Simplification
    The department is considering amendments to shellfish and marine fish recreational fishing rules to provide fishing opportunity, to address conservation objectives, and to simplify rules.
     
  • Recreational shellfish rules
    The department seeks to make several changes to shellfish rules located in WAC chapter 220-330 which include the following: (1) remove sections from two shellfish rules which decriminalize the possession and/or harvesting of oysters and clams during the closed season, (2) clarify that violations described in a shellfish rule apply to use of unlawful gear without possession of shellfish, and (3) correct invalid RCW references in two shellfish rules.
     
  • Changes to coastal commercial - Dungeness Crab Rules
    Rules are needed to implement regulatory measures that will reduce the risk of crab pot gear entanglements with humpback whales
     
  • 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.
     
  • 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.
     
  • Amending commercial fishing rules to help reduce the dumping of filleted fish carcasses and offal in Washington ports
    Currently, the dumping of filleted  fish carcasses and offal in Washington ports has attracted large numbers of sea lions which is affecting port operations and  public safety. To reduce the dumping of this material and mitigate the descent of sea lions into Washington ports, the  department seeks to amend rules allowing ports to contract with licensed Fish Dealers to receive the transfer of  recreationally-caught filleted fish carcasses for commercial purposes.
     
  • 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.
     
  • Testing commercial fishing gear
    The department seeks to clarify the requirements for notifying department law enforcement officers about testing commercial fishing gear.

     
  • Recreational Fishing Rules - Pass Lake
    The department is considering amendments to recreational fishing rules.
     
  • Recreational Sturgeon Fishing
    The department is considering amendments to Sturgeon recreational fishing rules.
     
  • Periodic Status Review - Gray Wolf
    The department is conducting a periodic status review for gray wolf.
     
  • 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.
     
  • 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.
     
  • Periodic Status Review: Oregon Vesper Sparrow
    The department is considering a recommendation to classify Oregon Vesper Sparrow to state endangered, threatened, or sensitive.
     
  • Language for license and catch record card documents
    The department needs to correct language in WAC's to match current license and catch record card documents. 
     
  • Fish catch record card reporting to be available online and through mobile communication devices
    The department needs to amend rules to allow for fish catch record card reporting to be available online and through mobile communication devices
     
  • 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.
     
  • Commercial shellfish and shellfish aquaculture rules
    The proposed changes are intended to clarify existing rules based on negotiations with Treaty tribes and WDFW management policy concerning affected species.
     
  • 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. 
     
  • Department Lands
    The department is considering rule changes related to department lands-general rules.
  • 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".
     
  • 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.
     
  • 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.
     
  • 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).
     
  • 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.
     
  • 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.