Species covered in proposed rule • Marine Bottomfish
Rule to Change: BOTTOMFISH limit.
ROCKFISH Year-round No min. size. Daily limit 10. No CANARY or YELLOWEYE may be retained.
New Rule Proposal: BOTTOMFISH limit.
ROCKFISH Year-round No min. size. Daily limit 10. No CANARY or YELLOWEYE may be retained on non-halibut fishing days. All CANARY or YELLOWEYE must be turned in to WDFW at the dock on halibut fishing days.
Why the change is needed: It just seems wrong to demand that sportsmen waste fish (meat and any valuable data that can be gleaned from them). There is limited motive to target yellow-eye and canary rockfish on halibut fishing days. Why not require that all yellow-eye/canary brought back to the dock and thrown into a tote where WDFW can collect detailed data on number, size, condition etc. before donoting them to the local food bank. The information could inform WDFW about fish stock conditions and the meat could benefit those in need.
Names of individuals or groups with whom you have discussed this change: No input given
Describe their support and/or concerns:
No input given
Submitted by: RICHARD, TVETEN — OLYMPIA, WA
Date submitted: 04/27/2012
WDFW Rule Proposal Recommendation
Not Recommended for further consideration Reference ID: DFW733993
Unfortunately, your proposal would be difficult to enforce. Given the concern about rockfish populations, it would also be a big risk. Studies indicate that some rockfish do survive being captured and released. Please also consider the following information:
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 Vulnerable and Depleted in north and south Puget Sound, respectively. 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. DFW 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(1 comments)
HAY, CLIFF A December 06, 2012 FORKS, WA Comments: Why is Marine area 3 still closed for bottom fishing? It is my understanding that the 20 fathom line limit was established because all bottom fish caught at that depth and shallower are able to survive when released. If that is true then all fish species whose stocks are depleted could be released unharmed and healthy stocks could be retained. This area has many healthy stocks of bottom fish that could be fished year round when weather permits. The winter season is already very limited due to the storms and the additiional catch would not harm the existing healthy stocks. Let's open up bottom fishing year round again in Area 3.