Species covered in proposed rule • Marine Bottomfish
Rule to Change: ROCKFISH CLOSED
New Rule Proposal: Rockfish EXCEPT YellowEye and Canary, 1 Fish per day possession limit only during Ling cod season (May 1st to June 15th)
Why the change is needed: I regularly catch rockfish as a bi-catch to ling cod fishing. Many of these fish when brought to the surface are dead and I cannot keep any to eat...I must throw the body into Pugest Sound since it is dead, many are eaten partially by seagulls. This is a terrible waste and I strongly urge consideration of a return to 1 rockfish per day limit (not including any canary or yellow eye) during the 6 week ling cod fishing season. Also I have seen NO lessening of the rockfish population in the 20 years I have fished in Marine Area 7, San Juan Islands.
Names of individuals or groups with whom you have discussed this change: Several Years ago I discussed this with staff of the staff at the Department of Fish and Wildlife
Describe their support and/or concerns:
They were sympathetic to this change, but said they needed to assess whether the current ban on recreational rockfish harvesting was working or not to restore the rockfish population. It is time to hear from them whether this ban is effective or not.
Submitted by: BERGER, ALBERT J — LOPEZ ISLAND, WA
Date submitted: 05/08/2012
WDFW Rule Proposal Recommendation
Not Recommended for further consideration Reference ID: DFW287624
Several recent analyses and studies focusing on rockfishes in Puget Sound have concluded that stocks are in poor condition. Rockfish in Puget Sound have been grouped into four stock status categories based upon the directionality of trends in abundance: Healthy, Precautionary, Vulnerable, and Depleted. Most Puget Sound rockfish species are in Precautionary status: however, some species such as copper rockfish are designated as Vulnerable, and quillback rockfish are designated as Depleted. Further, three species of rockfish have been listed under the Endangered Species Act in Puget Sound: yelloweye and canary as threatened, and bocaccio as endangered. WDFW also has listed thirteen species of rockfish as Washington State Species of Concern. A special review by the American Fisheries Society found several species of rockfish in Puget Sound to be among the most threatened marine fish stocks in North America. Direct fishery removals at unsustainable rates can reduce population productivity and affect the size and age structure of the population, substantially reducing the likelihood of rebuilding stocks to sustainable fishery levels. WDFW has chosen to adopt a precautionary approach to recovering rockfish species in Puget Sound and has instituted a variety of increasingly restrictive harvest measures to reduce fishing pressure. This approach is especially important given the longevity, late age-at-maturity, and highly variable annual recruitment success of many rockfish species, which lengthens recovery time relative to many other marine species. At this time, the current harvest restrictions are deemed a necessary step toward the recovery and return to healthy status of Puget Sound rockfish stocks.
Online Public Comments(0 comments)
No online public comments submitted for this proposal.