For more information on the Hydraulic Permit Application (HPA) Program, please contact:
WDFW Habitat Program
(360) 902-2534


Suction dredge operation in river.

2018 Round 2 Hydraulic Code Rule Making

Why new rules?

On April 14, 2018, the Fish and Wildlife Commission directed WDFW to begin rulemaking to require individual Hydraulic Project Approval (HPA) permits for all suction dredge mineral prospecting.  

What are the proposed changes?

WDFW's goal is to modify rules to authorize suction dredging activities through individual HPAs rather than under the Gold and Fish Pamphlet.

WDFW's objectives in this rulemaking include:

  • Develop an individual HPA application method for suction dredging that is streamlined;
  • Develop application and reporting methods to enable WDFW to determine:
    • the number of prospectors engaged in suction dredging and
    • where and how much suction dredging occurs; and
  • Identify methods to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species through the movement of suction dredging equipment into and around the state.
What does WDFW do in the rule making process?
  • File a pre-proposal statement of inquiry (CR-101) with the Washington State Code Reviser (5/8/2018)
  • Host public meetings to explain the scope of rule making and discuss with the public
  • July 16 - Port of Chelan County Confluence Technology Center, Methow and Teanaway Rooms
      285 Technology Center Wa, Wenatchee, WA 98801
      7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
    July 17 - Center Place Regional Event Center Auditorium
      2426 North Discovery Place, Spokane Valley, WA 99210
      7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
    July 19 - Natural Resources Building, Room 172
      1111 Washington Street Southeast, Olympia, WA 98501
      7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
    July 25 - Everett Community College, Jackson Conference Room
      2000 Tower Street, Everett, WA 98201
      7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
  • Develop the language for specific rule change proposals
  • Make a State Environmental Policy Act threshold determination
  • Complete a preliminary cost-benefit analysis
  • Determine the Least Burdensome Alternative
  • Analyze effects under the Regulatory Fairness Act
  • Meet requirements for Significant Legislative Rules
  • File a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (CR-102) with the Washington State Code Reviser
  • Fish and Wildlife Commission will hold a public hearing
  • Compile comments and write responses
  • Fish and Wildlife Commission will adopt new rules

Updates will be posted here as they become available.

For Further Information

Randi Thurston,
Protection Division Manager