Species covered in proposed rule • Marine Bottomfish
Rule to Change: Marine Areas 7-8-9 Rockfish Closed
New Rule Proposal: 2. This request is a rule change to allow retention of (2) Quilback rockfish in Puget Sound and San Juan Islands Marine Areas. Fish can only be retained if caught within a maximum depth of 120 ft. All other rock fish must be released unless otherwise specified by the regulations.
Why the change is needed: Quilbacks are an abundant species in PS that can sustain a retention fishery. Current closure is in place to protect other species of rockfish that are currently said to be in decline and are in guarded status. Targeting these fish in shallow water will allow for a selective fishery while maximizing survial of released non targeted species.
Names of individuals or groups with whom you have discussed this change: Recreational anglers
Describe their support and/or concerns:
Expanded oppurtunity for recreational retention of rockfish.
Submitted by: CHASE, RON L — GRANITE FALLS, WA
Date submitted: 05/25/2012
WDFW Rule Proposal Recommendation
Not Recommended for further consideration Reference ID: DFW568437
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.