Photo of a Starry Flounder (Platichthys stellatus)
Photo of a Starry Flounder (Platichthys stellatus) by S. Axtell

Public hearing and public comments

Public Meeting
WDFW discussed the proposal to open limited fishing opportunities for flatfish at a meeting from on March 19 in Port Townsend. During the meeting, the public was also able to comment on the proposal.

Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission Meeting
The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission also heared public testimony on the proposal during its April 9-10 meeting in Olympia. Audio and meeting minutes are available on the Commission's website.

 

Petition to Open fishing for bottomfish in Northern Hood Canal and Dabob Bay

Fisheries managers are seeking public comments through April 1 on a state proposal to reopen recreational fishing for flounder, sole and other flatfish – except halibut – in Quilcene Bay and the northern portion of Dabob Bay in Hood Canal.

Proposal

This proposed rule change will allow a fishery for flatfish species in the portion of Quilcene and Dabob Bays north of a line projected due east from Whitney Point to the Toandos Peninsula. Fishing will only be allowed in waters shallower than 120 feet deep.

Rationale

Fishing for a variety of species, including flatfish, has been closed in Hood Canal since 2004 to provide additional protection for fish populations that are susceptible to low-dissolved oxygen events.

Recent studies show that populations of flatfish have significantly increased in these bays over the last decade. So WDFW is proposing a fishery in those areas that would allow for limited recreational opportunity while still ensuring conservation objectives are met for those species.

The harvest of Pacific halibut, lingcod and other bottomfish, as well as forage fish, would be prohibited because of continuing conservation concerns for those species.