Sportfishing Rule Changes for 2017-2018

View and comment on proposals that were submitted by the public and WDFW staff.


Recommended
for Public Comment
Not Recommended
for further consideration
Statewide marine waters
Coastal marine water
Puget Sound marine areas
Technical changes
Click to enlarge map of Marine Areas

Recommended for Public Comment

# 1. Require descending devices in Puget Sound for bottomfish and halibut   
Require a descending device be onboard the fishing vessel and rigged for deployment when fishing for bottomfish or halibut in waters east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh Line.
# 2. Classify Opah, Swordfish, Striped Marlin, and Dolphinfish as food fish   
Classify Lampris guttatus (opah), Xiphias gladius (swordfish), Kajikia audax (striped marlin), and Coryphaena hippurus (dolphinfish) as "food fish".
# 3. Possession of another's food fish or shellfish limit   
This rule proposal would make it unlawful to possess food fish or shellfish taken during the open season by another while in the field or in transit unless it is accompanied by a statement which shows...
# 4. Define a unit of gear for crab, crawfish, and shrimp   
Clarifies regulations regarding the definition of a unit of gear when fishing for crab, crawfish, and shrimp to include the use of angling gear or a castable device.
# 5. Require buoy of unattended shellfish gear to be marked with the first and last name and permanent mailing address of the person operating the gear   
Unattended shellfish gear must be marked with a buoy that lists the first and last name and permanent mailing address of the person operating the gear.
# 6. Tanner crab minimum size in Puget Sound   
This change is intended to implement a 4 1/2 inch minimum size limit for any Tanner crabs that are retained during an open personal use crab fishery.
# 7. Shrimp pot mesh size   
Allow 1/2 inch mesh size for shrimp pots inside 20 fathoms year round in Marine Areas 1-3 and Marine Area 4 west of the Bonilla-Tatoosh Line. This proposal would allow opportunity to harvest coonstrip...
# 8. Allow squid harvest in Hood Canal   
Allow squid harvest year round, including Humboldt squid in Hood Canal.
# 9. Restrict heating of oyster shells   
Restrict harvesters from cooking oysters in the shell and/or opening oysters through the addition of heat.
# 10. Remove bonus limits for eastern softshell clams in Skagit Bay, and for cockles in Willapa Bay   
Remove bonus limits for eastern softshell clams in Skagit Bay, and for cockles in Willapa Bay.
# 11. Technical Changes   
Corrects Washington Administrative Code (WAC) language to more clearly reflect rule adoptions made by the Commission. Formats the language in a clear structure, removes redundant language, etc.