Puget Sound Commercial Smelt Fishery

Notice Updated: 01/23/2017 @ 09:47am
NOTICE: The 2017 Puget Sound Commercial Smelt Fishery is open (see map below for open areas, fishing time periods, and days of the week). When landings reach the 60,000 pound annual quota, the fishery will be shut down by emergency regulation. Be sure to report your catch by 2pm the day following harvest to 1-844-611-3822 or smeltreport@dfw.wa.gov........................ Questions? Call Adam Lindquist at 360-902-2704

Current Landings

Commercial Smelt Seasons
Commercial  Smelt Fishery Seasons 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

2017 Landings

Annual quota: 60,000 pounds

Total landed: 0 pounds
% of Quota: 0%

Fishing Time Frame Pounds
02/06/17 - 02/09/17 0
01/30/17 - 02/02/17 0
01/23/17 - 01/26/17 0
01/16/17 - 01/19/17 0
01/09/17 - 01/12/17 0
01/02/17 - 01/05/17 0