Puget Sound Commercial Smelt Fishery

NOTICE: The 2015 Puget Sound Smelt Fishery is currently open (see map below for open areas, fishing time periods, and days of the week) and will close by emergency regulation when the 60,000 pound quota has been reached.

Commercial Smelt Seasons
Commercial  Smelt Fishery Seasons map
CLICK TO ENLARGE MAP
A commercial fishery for smelt is allowed in Puget Sound waters using drag (beach) seine gear with area, timing, and gear restrictions

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission recently approved new regulations for recreational and commercial smelt fishing in Puget Sound in order to increase protection for the valuable species.

These new regulations included:

  • A new 60,000-pound annual quota for the Puget Sound commercial smelt fishery.
  • A reduction in the commercial fishery by one day each week and during limited daily hours, allowing commercial fishing from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday during seasonal openings in each area.

Population abundance estimates are not available for smelt. However, Puget Sound-wide commercial catch and catch rates indicate relatively high harvest in recent years that prompted the adoption of more restrictive regulation by the commission.

If needed, an emergency regulation will be enacted when the annual commercial fishery quota is expected to be reached.

Commercial Regulation Updates

2015 Landings

Annual quota: 60,000 pounds

Total landed: 213 pounds
% of Quota: 0.35%

Fishing Time Frame Pounds
05/18/15 - 05/21/15 54
05/11/15 - 05/14/15 0
05/04/15 - 05/07/15 81
04/27/15 - 04/30/15 0
04/20/15 - 04/23/15 78
04/13/15 - 04/16/15 0
04/06/15 - 04/09/15 0
03/30/15 - 04/02/15 0
03/23/15 - 03/26/15 0
03/16/15 - 03/19/15 0
03/09/15 - 03/12/15 0
03/02/15 - 03/05/15 0
02/23/15 - 02/26/15 0
02/16/15 - 02/19/15 0
02/09/15 - 02/12/15 0
02/02/15 - 02/05/15 0
01/26/15 - 01/29/15 0
01/19/15 - 01/22/15 0
01/12/15 - 01/15/15 0
01/05/15 - 01/08/15 0
01/01/15 - 01/01/15 0

Annual quota: 60,000 pounds

Total landed: 213 pounds
% of Quota: 0.35%