Species covered in proposed rule • Marine Bottomfish
Rule to Change: Marine Area 12 (Hood Canal) bottomfish closed
New Rule Proposal: Separate Marine Area 12 into two subareas (like Marine Areas 8-1 and 8-2) and allow fishing for bottomfish in the northern area (say north of Stavis Bay) that is not affected by oxygen depletion issues
Why the change is needed: Fishers in Hood Canal have very limited opportunities generally, and are currently limited to fishing for only salmon. All of Area 12 does not need to remain closed to bottom fishing in order to deal with the oxygen-depletion issue in the southern portion of the Canal; the portion of Hood Canal north of the floating bridge is already open for bottomfish, and prohibiting fishing for bottomfish everywhere south of the bridge is arbitrary and unnecessary. There is an abundance of flatfish in the northern part of Hood Canal that would provide opportunities for the casual fisherman and children to keep an occasional fish or just to go out and practice catch-and-release, which is currently prohibited except for searun cutthroat trout, steelhead and salmon when in season. Promoting this recreational opportunity can be done easily and with no harm to bottomfish in the southern part of the Canal with an appropriate buffer to protect the area subject to oxygen depletion.
Names of individuals or groups with whom you have discussed this change: None
Describe their support and/or concerns:
No input given
Submitted by: KRIEBEL, KEITH W — POULSBO, WA
Date submitted: 04/26/2012
WDFW Rule Proposal Recommendation
Not Recommended for further consideration Reference ID: DFW651729
Hood Canal is closed to fishing for bottomfish due to concerns for bottomfish impacted by low dissolved oxygen primarily in the south Hood Canal. North Hood Canal is closed to provide a refuge for bottomfish that may move to the north as a temporary response to an acute stressor and to provide a source of bottomfish to repopulate south Hood Canal after low dissolved oxygen events.
Online Public Comments(1 comments)
KRIEBEL, KEITH September 20, 2012 POULSBO, WA Comments: The DFW response is not responsive. The suggestion was that there be a reasonable buffer area included in the "south" Hood Canal area that would remain closed (to allow for the sanctuary referenced in the response), but to recognize that bottom fish from the stressed area will not move to areas north of Seabeck and therefore that fishing opportunities be created in the northern areas. As noted in the proposal, there is already an arbitrary cut-off (the Hood Canal Bridge) on bottom fishing in the Hood Canal, and I would like to see the science as to why that cut-off should remain where it is rather than be moved closer to where the low-oxygen problem actually exists.