Well just when I think I have it figured out I learn something new. Yesterday WDF&W Director Phil Anderson pushed through a CR 103P or permanent rule for Willapa. Adopted it without notice as all were in Montesano at the hearing on the Grays Harbor net season. It showed up on the WDFW website and a few hours later we also found the Concise Explanatory Statement which is supposedly responding to all public comments.

Now it is my understanding this is permissible when the general public faces "imminent peril " so evidently their failure to do business in a timely manner in accordance with state law endangers the public.
Here are the links to the CR 103P at WDFW’s website under 2013 North of Falcon commercial salmon rules for Willapa Bay   Link    Look at the CR 103P & the 36 page Concise Explanatory Statement. Both are a bit of work that defies description. One thing about the boys and girls, they have been busy!!!

So below is the justification for trying to modify the public process. Pursuant to RCW 34.05.380(3)(c), WDFW finds that an effective date earlier than the normal 31-day time period following the filing of this rule is needed to avoid imminent peril to the public welfare. In the agency’s determination, public peril is the direct and indirect economic impacts to Willapa Bay commercial fishermen, their families, and that portion of the local economy supported through their activities, that would accrue if the contemplated fishery is not opened on August 12, 2013.

In support of this finding, the agency estimates that the ex-vessel value lost in delaying the start of the commercial fishery for 31 days following filing with the Code Reviser would be approximately $182,215, or fully one-third the total ex-vessel value of the fishery. In addition to the alleged direct economic loss, the Department claims allowing the 31 day waiting period designed to allow the public to seek relief in court would create indirect economic losses to the local economy.

According to the Department “If days lost through a delay in starting the commercial fishery were redistributed via a reconfiguration of the September season using emergency rules or modifying the current proposed rules in conformity with RCW 34.05.240, a portion of the loss might be recovered, yielding a net direct loss of approximately $78,650, or 14% of the estimated ex-vessel value. Additional indirect losses would also remain.

In addition, compression of the commercial fishery into early September would further result in unanticipated and unintended consequences for the recreational fishery and the economic benefits that the local economy is expected to receive from that fishery. These losses are not an acceptable alternative and would not fully address the imminent peril to public welfare.”

Now, that last one is truly creative. Having the nets not go in the bay will adversely effect recreational fisherman out out on the water? If recs knew the nets were out they wouldn’t drive down and spend money with local merchants? REALLY!

The legal battle is on…….. Now, its our turn. More to come.

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