Live Review of Public Comments: Puget Sound Smelt Rulemaking

Online Public Comments   (517 Comments)

KEMPER, ROBERT   May 31, 2014
REDMOND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use
PLAZA, ROB   May 31, 2014
CAMANO ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
This issue is of great concern to many of my constituents here on Camano Island. So much so, that over 20 of us, several representing larger groups, organized ourselves into carpools and were on the road at 6am on a Saturday morning in order to attend your hearing in Olympia this past April. At that hearing, I personally asked several of you if you would consider closing areas 24-A & 24-C if you were to decide to keep commercial smelting open, as these two areas are, by far, the most over-harvested. At that time, I was led to believe that the three options, as written, were the only options that your Commission would consider. Now, just as the window for public comment is closing, we are hearing that "commercial" entities out of the San Juans have enlisted at least one State Senator to put pressure on you to augment these three choices in order to allow commercial smelting in the North Sound. IF this is true, I would hope that your commission would see this maneuver for what is ~R
DALE, MELISSA   May 31, 2014
CAMANO ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
I understand that commercial interests are making a final push to keep smelting open for profit. Though their voices may be louder, they speak from, and for, their wallets. We speak for the smelt population and for the ecology of the Puget Sound. We have already seen the collapse of other forage fisheries (herring, sardine,...). Don't let the same happen to the smelt. Three options were presented, and I trust that there will be no last-minute inclusion of a fourth. As such, I again urge the support of Option 3. Thank you.
CHRISTENSEN, DANA   May 31, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Part 5: Since I live on Mud Bay Dock Road full time, I have been able to see first-hand what kind of impact surf smelting has on the fish and shellfish in Mud Bay throughout the year. There is minimal to no impact as far as I can see. I walk Mud Bay beach daily and clean up the human plastic trash that washes up. I don't see very many legal sized moulted crab shells on Mud Bay beach any more. Mud Bay is a nursery bed for Dungeness crab, and I have seen far more negative impact on Dungeness crab population in the last couple years here in Mud Bay since the leasing of a sector of this bay for year-round crabbing by the local Tribes. There used to be far more crab here before commercial / subsistence crabbing started. The regulation of commercial crabbing should be re-evaluated, not commercial surf smelting. Respectfully, Dana A Christensen
CHRISTENSEN, DANA   May 31, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Part 4: I agree with them, and I myself started several bags of oysters growing in front of our cabin. They started as small dime-sized spat, and over the first winter they grew over 5 inches. My neighbor is now growing his own oysters. Our water is good. As far as I have observed, there isn't any environmental impact fishing with a lead line net the way Randy does. Any crab that comes in with the net is carefully collected and then walked down the beach to be released. Any bycatch is released. Surf smelting with a small boat and lead line net isnt easy, it is quite a physical job. It is nothing like the commercial seine net trawlers that came through the Straight of Juan de Fuca decades ago and cleaned out the larger rock fish as bycatch to the salmon they were after. The rockfish population hasn't ever really recovered from the trawlers, and there was a negative impact on the sport fishing industry in our area.
CHRISTENSEN, DANA   May 31, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Part 3: It is a rich educational resource for the children who participate in the haul. I myself have met some fine full-time Lopez residents who come to help when Randy drops his net. We are fortunate to have a shallow bay here - 14 feet at high tide, so we don't get the large pleasure boats and trawlers in here to foul the water. The water is clean here, and supports a large number and variety of crab, bivalves, oyster and larger fish. Mud Bay is the only bay where the smelt spawn year around. The smelt, perch and herring that spawn in Mud Bay year-around support this ecosystem. There are plenty of them, and they bring in the larger sport fish. I see the small fish come in every evening and watch them jumping along the shoreline from our deck. I talked with a couple of Fish and Game employees who come here to do clam count twice a year on the extreme negative tide. They said that Mud Bay is a *showcase* bay, and the variety of shellfish is amazing and diverse.
CHRISTENSEN, DANA   May 31, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
part 2: We kids would stay back out of the way while the net was hauled in, and then we got to help sort fish. When Oscar passed away, i was happy to see that Randy OBryant took on Oscars commercial surf smelt fishing license and has continued the tradition. To eliminate commercial smelt fishing here on Mud Bay would also eliminate a long standing tradition. Commercial surf smelting involves Randy taking a small boat out to drop the net, and the crew and volunteers hauling it in by hand to the shore where we then sort fish. Randy encourages the kids to help. How many children in the United States ever get an opportunity to experience something like this? It is good for people to see the work involved that brings food to their table - not that it just bought packed in a styrofoam tray at the local supermarket. When Randy fishes, it is a great social opportunity, and Lopez Island residents, parents and children come to help Randy along with his regular crew.
CHRISTENSEN, DANA   May 31, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
To whom it may concern: Here are my thoughts on the issue of eliminating commercial smelt fishing as it currently stands: Leave the current regulations as they are. I am currently a full time resident on Mud Bay Dock Road, Lopez Island. Since the 1950s our family has owned two beachfront properties - including tide rights - here. My parents, my four siblings and I spent every summer school vacation here. Lopez Island, despite the vacation homes, is still is a farming community. Many of the island children I knew when I was growing up are now farming their parents land as adults. If you cant grow it on the farm, it has to be caught in a net. The settlers here lived on fishing and farming. It was and still is their livelihood. I remember from my childhood when Oscar Anderson would come to the end of our road (which didn't have a name at the time) and would drop his nets to fish commercially for surf smelt. We kids would stay back out of the way while the net was hauled in.
WOJCIK, WALT   May 31, 2014
BOTHELL, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
It is imperative that stock of forage fish be maintained at a healthy level even if it means the elimination of a commercial fishery in the waters of Washington State combined with a reduction in the recreational catch. Forage fish are the backbone of all other fisheries in the state. Failure to do so is abrogation of the responsibility given to WDFW. It is also time that the State recognize the economic impact the recreational fisher contributes to the state's economy. A healthy recreational fishery means more dollars for the state and the WDFW.
RICE, MITCHELL   May 30, 2014
EDMONDS, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use
STUMPF, TIMOTHY   May 30, 2014
SNOHOMISH, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
Thank you!
KELLEY, MATTHEW   May 30, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
Save the smelt as a food base to restore Puget Sound Salmon Runs
FAHEY, JAMES   May 30, 2014
EDMONDS, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
Please preserve our baitfish for the food chain. We need smelt neeting out of Puget Sound. Thank you WDFW!
RUH, GORDON   May 30, 2014
SEATTLE, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
Commissioners, From the information presented by WDFW staff, it is clear that stock assessments of Puget Sound smelt are simply not available. Given the lack of data, I urge you to adhere to the guidance provided by the Forage Fish Management Plan which calls for the Department to "follow a precautionary strategy if insufficient information exists or the resource is poor". Option 3 is the most viable course of action to ensure a healthy marine ecosystem in Puget Sound. This option should be adopted as written and submitted for public comment. Anything less than a total closure of commercial fishing will result in localized depletion in other areas of the Sound. I believe the Department is well aware of the problems associated with parceling up the Sound and the resultant concentration of commercial fishing effort. Thank you, Gordon Ruh
LEE, TERENCE   May 30, 2014
OLYMPIA, WA

Preferred Option:   Other - none of the above

Comments:
The Nisqually Reach Nature Center is an organization dedicated to promoting the understanding, appreciation, and preservation of the Nisqually estuarine ecosystem and its integral role in the local environment, history, and culture, through interpretation, education, and research. The understanding and protection of regional forage fish populations throughout the Salish Sea is very important to us especially within the Nisqually Aquatic Reserve which we are the site proponent for. We are concerned about the lack of sufficient data to estimate surf smelt populations and recreational harvest. None of the three options offered do anything to improve our lack of knowledge about surf smelt populations in Puget Sound. Therefore, the Nisqually Reach Nature Center and Nisqually Aquatic Reserve Citizen Stewardship Committee believe that additional research is needed to reach a well-informed decision on the management of surf smelt in Puget Sound.
ROGERS, SUSAN   May 30, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Other - none of the above

Comments:
Close commercial and recreational smelting on North Camano Island until the fishery numbers return. The behavior of the commercial smelters on private lands has not helped home owners have any comparision for their livelihood even after documentation of their violations!
THOMPSON, VANCE   May 30, 2014
SEATTLE, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
I strongly urge you to adopt Option 3. Any carve outs for areas such as the San Juan's will only cause the commercial shrimpers to move there and deplete the shrimp populations like they have done to the Camano Island shrimp populations. I have shrimped this year on all three days that have been allocated. The effects of over harvesting of shrimp by commercial fisherman in the Camano Island area has resulted in incredibly low catches by recreational fisherman. I have never seen it this bad since I began shrimping 18 years ago.
WAY, JON   May 30, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
Please consider option #3 to protect and help ensure the continuance of a healthy smelt population. I remember being able to catch cod anytime until the commercial fishery wiped them out in a short time. I also remember when the rockfish were plentiful and am happy that steps are in place to attempt a recovery in the Sound. It seems that limiting the harvest of smelt is prudent since there has not been much study of them and they are currently being commercially targeted in such a small area of northern Camano Island. With no limits in place about the quantity of harvest or number of commercial harvesters in an area, this appears to be a biological disaster in the making. The ecological benefit to the Sound and spawning areas is too valuable to squander by letting a handful of people benefit by commercial harvesting. Thank for your consideration of option #3.
HUBBARD, SHAUN   May 30, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Other - none of the above

Comments:
The last smelt stock assessment conducted by WDFW (over 18 years ago) concluded that 1% of the smelt were being harvested. This data would not support the need for a "conservative approach". An updated stock assessment is needed before changing harvest regulations. Are there other ways that the WDFW can improve its protection of smelt? WDFW website: "It is the policy of the department
ROGERS, JIM   May 30, 2014
EVERETT, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
I sincerely believe that Option 3 is the best choice for the preservation of fishing habitat in the the Puget Sound. As a owner of property on North Camano Island I am concerned with the over fishing by the Commericial Smelters which has a direct impact on the salmon and crab fisheries in the area. Not only are the other fisheries being impacted but so are the shore birds and the eagle population. Please vote for Option 3
BODNARCHUK, DANA   May 29, 2014
CAMANO ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
I have lived on the water at Maple Grove my since the 1950's. Smelt were not considered a desirable fish when I was young but times have changed. Where once they were considered almost a garbage fish they are now very important to the ecology of all marine life in Puget Sound. I think that we are at a tipping point in deciding whether to limit the smelt catch. As humans we are a self-centered species and if something is out there we want it we take it. As we see each day there is less and less to take when it comes to fish. If we continue on with the old rules we won't have any fish in the very near future. I want the commercial fishing closed and I would like to see recreational fishing limited to 6a.m. to 6 p.m. on open days and a fishing license required.
GATTON, GAIL   May 29, 2014
SEATTLE, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
The protection and recovery of our west coast forage fish populations is a high priority for Audubon throughout the Pacific Flyway. Audubon supports fisheries policies and management that recognize the value of forage fish in the marine ecosystem and that take a precautionary approach to setting harvest limits and approving new fisheries. For the record, we find all presented alternatives to be inadequate given the lack of scientific data on Puget Sound forage fish populations. Noting this, of the range of options provided, we support Option 3: End commercial harvests in Puget Sound and reduce the recreational harvest of smelt. Please see the full written comments we have submitted through the "Contact the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission" webpage.
WHITMAN, TIINA   May 29, 2014
FRIDAY HARBOR WA, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
FRIENDS has been involved in forage fish habitat research, restoration and protection over 13 years and we appreciate WDFW
STRATHMANN, RICHARD   May 29, 2014
FRIDAY HARBOR, WA

Preferred Option:   Other - none of the above

Comments:
Reduction of harvest may be necessary but does WDFW have sufficient data to assess the effects of harvest? Can effects of harvest be distinguished from effects of loss spawning habitat? Shoreline modifications can reduce the extent of spawning beaches. WDFW should take action to prevent new bulkheading, riprap seawalls and other modifications that reduce spawning beaches. Proposals for such modifications will continue as shoreline because of construction along shorelines. Sea level is predicted to rise, even allowing for isostatic rebound. Rise in sea level will increase demand for sea walls. Reducing harvest will be an inadequate response if spawning habitat is lost.
OLSON, SCOTT   May 29, 2014
CAMANO ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 2 - Reduce both commercial and recreational use

Comments:
I have lived on Camano Island for 55 years (I`m 4th generation on the Island) most of it at 504 Maple Grove Road, I grew up here on this property and as a kid we commercially fished for smelt in front of the house on our property or the neighbors property which we had permission. The past few years there has be a couple commercial fisherman that have NO REGARD TO ANYONES PRIVATE PROPERTY they use the beaches from Utsalady to Rocky Pt. as if the own them.I would like to see the State come out with a list of regulations for both the commercial fisherman and the sportsman to abide by some of these people feel that if they are standing below the waterline they are not trespassing but are still standing on the beach!!! they`re not God walking on water.If these people would ask for permission from the landowner we would not have problems. Thank you Scott Olson
WHITMAN, TINA   May 28, 2014
FRIDAY HARBOR, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
FRIENDS has been involved in forage fish habitat research, restoration and protection over 13 years and we appreciate WDFW
WHITMAN, TINA   May 28, 2014
FRIDAY HARBOR WA 98250, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Friends of the San Juans has been involved in smelt habitat research and protection for over 13 years and we appreciate WDFW
MARRS, RYAN   May 27, 2014
PORT TOWNSEND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
MUCKLE, SUSAN   May 26, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
This seems like a reactive approach to what I understand are primarily some complaints from property owners on Camano about night-time smelt fishing. If so, it seems like it should be worked out between the parties involved, instead of proposing radical changes to the whole region. To the best of my knowledge we have one smelt fisherman on Lopez Is. where I live, & he is a wonderful part of the island's environmental culture. His fishing days are a community event, & dozens of local children, as well as visiting kids & their families, participate as he gathers and sorts the fish. It is a meaningful & educational experience for the kids, teaching them respect for nature & the importance of wise decisions when harvesting from the sea. He also shares fish with island families that need them. If you are concerned about the smelt stocks, pls do the research before making a decision & in the meantime, leave things as they are.
VALLUZZI, ELIZABETH   May 26, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
LINNEMAN, TERI   May 25, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
There is no data showing that the smelt fishery is not sustainable. Until the research is done this fishery should not be changed. I understand that there have been some problems on Camano island. The fisherman who are not being respectful should be fined or their licenses revoked. The smelt fishery on Lopez Island benefits the entire community. The fishery is beneficial to all on Lopez and especially to our youth! Please do not deny Lopez the chance to fish for smelt just because of a few bad apples down sound. Keep the smelt fishery alive and well!
CONLEY, IRMGARD   May 24, 2014
OLGA (ORCAS ISLAND), WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
As a former Board Member of "The Friends of the San Juans", I would like o urge you NOT to make any changes until you first undertake research until you truly understand stock status, and, above all, protect the spawning habitat, something "The Friends" have done a great deal of work on. Thank You!
VOROBIK, LINDA   May 24, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
I have already voted and submitted my comments, but do so once again as I feel that the WDFW is incorrectly considering surf smelt as salmon forage fish, and has not done the research to support their point of view. Please do not change the current commercial surf smelt fishing regulations until scientific evidence warrants your doing so. Most Sincerely, Linda Ann Vorobik
ELLIS, E   May 24, 2014
KENMORE, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 2 - Reduce both commercial and recreational use

Comments:
How can you regulate a fishery that you don't know its numbers and health? I urge Fish & Wildlife to inventory the population and reproductive health of these important fish before expanding any access to harvest more smelt. In the interim, limit harvest across the board to commercial and sports fisheries.
SCRANTON, LIZ   May 22, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Smelting is a historic activity on Lopez. All ages come out to fish and learn about wildlife. It is an important time for youth to learn about the value of the oceans and how to protect the waters that surround our island. The fish provide local sustainable food for many families. The fishing is done in a sustainable and thoughtful manner with respect for the fish and other wildlife. It would be sad and a crime to see this way of life go away. If there are problems with specific fisherman then these license holders should be addressed. But please do not penalize all the license holders.
NOLLMAN, KATHRYN   May 22, 2014
FRIDAY HARBOR, WA

Preferred Option:   Other - none of the above

Comments:
We appreciate WDFW's attention to protecting surf smelt, but the agency needs to take two other steps in conjunction with any proposed changes to harvest rules. We need to learn just how many smelt swim in the Salish Sea, and whether current harvests threaten those fish. Please consider dedicating necessary funds to determine these facts, before moving ahead to change the regulations.
STRAUGHAN, JAMES   May 21, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
At 92 years old I have seen the drastic reduction in wildlife resources from when I was a farm boy back East and from when I first moved to Oregon and then Bellingham over 50 years ago. We must do everything we can to reduce the degradation of our planet!
CONOVER, VERN   May 21, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 2 - Reduce both commercial and recreational use

Comments:
Also REQUIER smelt fisher persons must have a fishing license as well.
HAMILL, JANET AND GEOFFREY   May 21, 2014
DEER HARBOR, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 2 - Reduce both commercial and recreational use

Comments:
Dear WDFW: We are writing with concern that WDFW consider researching the smelt population trends in order to make an informed decision. We are also urging WDFW to protect the smelt breeding grounds and nurseries, as a crucial step in protecting our smelt population. Thank you for listening, Janet and Geoff Hamill
RAWSON, KIT   May 21, 2014
MT VERNON, WA

Preferred Option:   Other - none of the above

Comments:
I previously commented on this issue on March 6. I'd like to add the following thoughts. As a former tribal fishery management biologist I am well aware that there is a history of using only harvest restrictions to manage fish stocks. I'm also aware that this approach has caused great controversy and that it usually doesn't work. These proposals seem like more of the same, unfortunately. It's well known that loss of shoreline habitat quality and quantity affects the spawning capacity of smelt populations and therefore very likely their abundance and productivity. So, on top of the other flaws of this proposal, its failure to address habitat at all seems very unfair. I suggest revising the options to include level of shoreline habitat protection to go with the fishery restrictions proposed. For example, the most extreme fishery closure option could be paired with no further loss of suitable beaches for spawning (or even an increase in them), and so forth. Don't forget habitat
FERM, MARY   May 21, 2014
BAINBRIDGE IS, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
I am concerned about the problem of conserving these feed fish for so many animals. I have checked that I prefer the 3rd option, but I feel like we are being asked to decide without enough information. We need to know how many smelt swim in the Salish Sea, and whether current harvests threaten those fish. Also, you need to commit improving protection of spawning habitat. Without that, even the 3rd option will be ineffective.
MILLER, RHEA   May 20, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Other - none of the above

Comments:
Rules should not be made without sound science. Currently, this proposed rule is not based on anything remotely to do with science. I have spoken with the SeaDoc Society, and with San Juan County, and they all ask that any decisions be based on sound science. There is no scientific basis for closing commercial smelting. Please note San Juan County's letter to you, stating: 1)These smelt are not endangered as are the species int he Columbia River 2)A bio mass study released in 2001 by WDFW indicated that the harvest in 1996 was less than 1% of the stock 3)According to records obtained from WDFW, which list the pounds caught each year since 1974, the catch has never reached the same 1996 level of 154,900 pounds 4)No studies have been done on smelt stocks other than the one mentioned above 5) In reports published by WDFW, Puget Sound Partnership and Friends of the San Juans, the biggest threat to surf smelt is destruction of habitat and bulk-heading, not overfishing. Rhea Miller
CURRIE, PETER   May 19, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Research (submitted to you by Randy O'Bryant) indicates that the surf smelt fishing takes on the order of 1 percent of the stock in any year. There does not appear to be any imperative to change existing regulations. Moreover, for those of us lucky enough to be on the beach when it's time to go smelting, it is a wonderful experience that attracts everyone from grandparents to grand kids, and provides all of us with a chance to delight in the wonders of our state and the bounty its waters provide. There are no more than 9 licensee for surf smelt; let them fish, and please let us help them! The facts certainly seem to show that this is NOT a resource-depletion issue. Peter Currie
BLOMBERG, IRENE   May 19, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
There is a strong cultural and community tradition of commercial and recreational smelting on Lopez Island. I would like to see support for continuing to allow people to interact with the resource and develop future constituents for protection of these fish critical to marine food webs. On Lopez Island there is support of adjacent private landowners.
KITTELBERGER, WILLIAM   May 15, 2014
SEQUIM, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
ADAMS, ADRIENNE   May 15, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Please consider maintaining the commercial smelt fishery as it is currently regulated. This fishery is an important community resource and should not be lost. Thank you.
ATKINSON, FRED   May 14, 2014
LYNNWOOD , WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
as a young man, part of my life on lopez was spent just down the beach from my home watching and helping Al Shipley set and pull his beach seine. It was a neighbor hood and community event every summer. It would be amazing and just downright idiotic to see it stop with no research involved to see if fish stocks are dwindling.
ONLY A TEST, TESTING AUTO REPLY   May 13, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Other - none of the above

Comments:
Just testing auto reply, please ignore comment.
BUDINICH, HOPE   May 13, 2014
LYNNWOOD, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
This is such an old custom and so much fun for local. I have been picking smelt since I was a child and we have been doing it as fund raising for institutions usually Children's Hospital in Seattle and Harborview Hospital. You will be taking funding from these hospitals by canceling these smelting events.
CARNAHAN, PATRICIA   May 12, 2014
MOUNTLAKE TERRACE, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Change just for the sake of change is wrong. We are over regulated already. Enough!
MCFADDEN, TERRI   May 12, 2014
CLE ELUM, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
NORMAN, HEATHER   May 12, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
This is the craziest thing I have ever heard of. There is no reason to make any changes to the current rules for smelt fishing in Puget Sound, ESPECIALLY given the secretive manner in which the current issue has been handled. What about TRANSPARENCY in the way things are handled. Where were the announcements to let the public know anything about the proposed changes? Where were the public meetings held that provided interested individuals an opportunity to voice their opinions? Why were the License holders only given TWO DAYS notice of the ONE meeting on the issue? Why was FALSE information provided at this one meeting? Was it oversight? Was it poor (or totally missing) research? Or was it purely lying in order to pull a "fast one" to satisfy the wealthy homeowners who live along the shore and complain about what existed prior to them purchasing their property? This is just sickening.
WEEKS, BL   May 12, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Option 1 - no change.
MORRIS, AUSTIN   May 12, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
BALL, MIKE   May 12, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Significant research on smelt populations and effects of fishing needs to be conducted. What data supports even considering Option 2 or 3?
RODGERS, DAVE   May 12, 2014
BELLINGHAM, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
WALLACE, JOHN   May 12, 2014
VANCOUVER, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Beach seining for smelt is part of our state's heritage and a sustainable food practice that many of our residents depend on for their livelihood. Do not mess with the regulations and with these peoples' lives. Leave beach seining in place.
HOEY, DANNY   May 12, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
TAYLOR, SARAH   May 12, 2014
EVERETT, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
This appears to be a case of money speaking louder than science. Please no crooked rulings.
FISHER, KELLI   May 12, 2014
ANACORTES, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Please option #1--no change!
PETER, KEITH   May 12, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Come on guys quit with the new regulations
INGRAM, SHELLEY   May 12, 2014
ANACORTES, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
The amount of smelt caught by the six seine netters around Puget Sound has been stable for years, according to your own figures. If you need to limit the catch to protect the smelt runs, limit the commercial catch.
RASMUSSEN, JIM   May 12, 2014
ROYAL CITY, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
really, put more folks out of work,thats what this state needs...Jeez
GIMLIN, DAVE   May 12, 2014
EAST WENATCHEE, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
It looks to me like the WDFW has no science to back up the need for changing the regulations and are just bowing to the pressure of a few wealthy home owners. We seem to lose fishing and hunting opportunity on a regular basis in this state because of special interest groups with lots of money and a fish & game department that doesn't care about maintaining opportunity for the sportsmen & women of our state.
FISHER, EDWARD   May 11, 2014
ANACORTES, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
This proposed change is just another example of WDFW's bowing down to the whiney "I don't like it so it should stop" crowd. Once again, with absolutely no biological data to support a proposed closure, you people want to eliminate another recreational/commercial activity. Unlike salmon or sturgeon netting in the rivers, this commercial fishery has no negative impact on the resource or the ability of recreational participants to be successful in their pursuit. Smelt fishing has been occuring along the beaches of Puget Sound before many of these beachfront homeowners were even born. They chose to live in a location where this was happening, let them deal with it. This is the exact same thing as the whiney anti-hunters in the south sound complaining about duck hunters who are not having any negative long-term impact on duck numbers, nor causing any safety issues shooting on the sound in front of their homes. LEAVE THE SMELT SEASON ALONE!
KLUMB, CHARLIE   May 11, 2014
LYNNWOOD, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
ELAN, TRIANA   May 11, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Please do not take people's livelihoods away for no reason. There is no change needed for smelt seining.
WOOD, VICKY   May 11, 2014
ANACORTES, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
RICHEY, BELINDA   May 11, 2014
LYNNWOOD, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Having been born and raised on Lopez Island, I have many fond memories of joining in the beach seining for smelt each year. I have just read a very interesting (read suspect) account of how the handful of permit owners were only notified 2 days before your meeting on this matter, and of the unsatisfactory answers that they got to their questions at that meeting. Time to do the right thing and leave things as they are...this is not a giant fishery, no changes should be made without proper research.
YUKLUK, VALERIE   May 11, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
From what I understand there is no reason to close this fishery. The data I have heard is not showing any reason for change. Leave it alone. They are not being over fished and I for one can't believe that The fisheries management is being pressured to close this because of some rich waterfront owners on Camano island. I wish they would take an interest in the historical and cultural side of it. They could help save a little of our Washington state commercial fishing history.
SMITH, BLAKE   May 8, 2014
PUYALLUP, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
We have listed chinook and steelhead in the puget sound and an abundant population of forage fish would be immensly beneficial not only for salmonids,but the enitre marine food web.
TATE, JACK & MAYSIE   May 8, 2014
LOPEZ, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
My kids love the smelt pulls. Randy provides entertainment, education and good eating for all that come to the pull. Please let him do them forever.
BENDER, CRAIG   May 6, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
F&G has not provided reasonable proof a change is needed to protect the smelt stock levels.
BROWN, SCOTT   May 5, 2014
RENTON, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
It does not appear that you have any scientific evidence indicating th need for or benefit of modifying the existing rules governing smelt fishing. The rule change appears to be based on local homeowner discontent which should not be a factor when managing our natural resources.
DAYSHAW, PATRICK   May 5, 2014
SEATTLE, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Fish and Wildlife has not provided sufficient data to support closing this fishery.
GALLAGHER, RORY   May 5, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
I read in your proposal that there is no data on the stocks, but some homeowners are upset. Is that a good reason to stop smelt fishing? I think not.
PERMENTER, THOMAS   May 4, 2014
SEATTLE, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
This smells fishy to me. NO ANECDOTAL EVIDENCE OF A PROBLEM NO STATISTICAL EVIDENCE OF A PROBLEM FAULTY RESEARCH IN CATCH NUMBERS THAT EQUALS NO REASON FOR A CHANGE!!!!
SHIELDS, BETSY   May 4, 2014
CAMANO ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use
SHIELDS, JIM   May 4, 2014
CAMANO ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
Critical we preserve the Smelt.
DALE, MELISSA   May 2, 2014
CAMANO ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
As a fairly new resident of Camano Island, and a recreational smelter, I am concerned for the environmental health of the Puget Sound. As a forage fish, the smelt population is critical to maintain not only the salmon fishery, but the overall ecosystem. Long-term residents of Camano Island describe past decades when the shores were 'boiling' with smelt. That is no longer the case. The smelt fishery is being depleted and will go the way of the herring and sardine if not addressed. Night after night, we witness beach seining on our shores, nets heavily loaded with smelt trying to make their way to spawn. It needs to stop. The financial interests of a few commercial fishermen should not outweigh the environmental health of the Sound. Please adopt Option 3. Thank you.
HONEYWELL, LORI   May 2, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
My hope is that you will make no changes to the present smelting regulations. To go down to the beach and watch the amazing time that everyone from the oldest to the youngest has while watching the whole process is wonderful. From the setting of the nets to pulling it back in, getting the smelt and releasing the other creatures, everyone working together, laughing, getting wet, the since of community is a wonder to behold. Not often do old and young people get the chance to be together and enjoy time outside, talking, sharing stories and bonding. My hope is that with no changes, this way of life and growing community will last for many more generations. Thank you for your time Lori Honeywell
ALDO, WAYNE   April 30, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
WINSTEAD, ALEX   April 30, 2014
BELLINGHAM, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
The evidence for reducing this catch is un-substantiated due to a lack of research and data. Vacation/luxury property owners shouldn't dictate policy. Invest in data collection and re-visit this issue in 2 years. Smelt is important part of the food-chain from plankton to orca--look at the whole picture, reduce salmon fishing for 10 years then take a look at the fishery. Give the ocean time to recover and the abundance will return for all species
VINSON, FRED   April 29, 2014
EASTSOUND , WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
PERREN, MICHAEL   April 29, 2014
FRIDAY HARBOR, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
VINSON, BERT   April 29, 2014
EASTSOUNG, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Shame on WDFW.
SAWYER, GREG   April 29, 2014
OLGA, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Seems to me this proposal isn't coming from scientific data. Rather it is the opinion of a few and it has not backed up by research. If sound management practices are goal then do the research and prove the opinions before setting new policy.
BELL, LEROY JOHN   April 18, 2014
TACOMA, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 2 - Reduce both commercial and recreational use

Comments:
After Setting thru your meeting on TV. I feel you do not have enough information about the species and their habitat and spawning habits and the water quality issues that may be causing these problems leeching off the properties such as Camano Island from years of abuse. I believe that smelt along with many other fish will change there location if it is detremantal to their health. We can take samples of the sand in the egg areas to see how they are doing. We should not take a livelihood away from anyone either commercial or recreational just because a bunch of complainers that own private so called beaches don't like a boat being anchored along the shoreline, and lights and people talking at night. There is a difference in disturbing the peace and disturbing the smelt. Before you make any decision for any closures please be sure you have enough pertinent information to accompany it. You must weigh . Reducing rather than shutting off is the only way to go. While we are doing a study
SWANSON, STEVE   April 16, 2014
ARLINGTON, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use
DICKINSON, KATHLEEN   April 15, 2014
EASTSOUND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
Feeder fish are critical to the life of the animals that feed on them. Very often one specie may be the only food source for another - they have no choice. Feeding people with this type of catch is purely for pleasure and not essential for the life of the human.
LEESE, GERRY   April 15, 2014
GREENBANK, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
Personally, I know a commercial smelt fisherman. Went to school with him, and he is a friend. But friend or no friend I've seen the impact his nets have on our smelt stocks, and they seem destructive to the smelt runs. I know of one haul he made that when he filled his 3/4 ton pick up up with smelt, both tires blew up, and I believe those tires had a load rating of "E" (about as high as they get)! Time to get nets and pots out of Puget Sound and the Rivers. Time to face the fact that they are all destructive! And if the commercial fisherman get over 99% of the fish (all fish and shellfish) out off our Coasts (and close to that 99% in the Straits), why not allow the lowly sport fisherman have the Sound! Only seems fair to me! Other problems are bird, Pinniped and Cetacean (porpoise) predation in the Sound! How the hell can the small fish get out to the Ocean and come back as bigger fish if they have to run the gauntlet of those predators? Put a season on those also!
SWEERE, MARK   April 14, 2014
KIRKLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
I actually support closing smelt fishing altogether.
ALEXANDER, KAREN   April 14, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
I am greatly concerned that WSF&G is even entertaining the idea of banning commercial smelt fishing when there is no proven environmental concern for smelt numbers. I only moved to this state in 2004 but have become very active in the local historical society in those 10 years. BOTH our cultural heritage and our natural wildlife are worth preserving. Local traditions and the local way of life continue to be eroded by such shortsightedness. Commercial smelt fishing is not endangering the species. Why shut them down? However, to ban commercial smelt fishing would certainly endanger the cultural heritage of these islands as well as cost our communities the opportunity to provide children with a living experience of that heritage. By taking an active part in such a cultural heritage they learn about the marine life around these islands at the same. Don
EASTON, DUGAL   April 14, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use
GAETAN, NICOLAS   April 11, 2014
SEQUIM, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 2 - Reduce both commercial and recreational use
FLORES, HUGO   April 11, 2014
OLYMPIA, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
Thank you for the opportunity to provide comments on the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife proposed options for commercial and recreational regulations for Puget Sound smelt. The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) supports Option 3- Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use. DNR believes that this option would allow the Department of Fish and Wildlife to gather basic biological information from a variety of surf smelt spawning stocks, both by way of recreational fishery monitoring and fishery-independent sampling. In addition to this, a systematic inventory of all existing surf smelt spawning areas needs to be completed in order to develop policies and regulations for habitat protection
RECHNER, MICHAL   April 11, 2014
OLYMPIA, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
Thank you for the opportunity to provide comments on the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife proposed options for commercial and recreational regulations for Puget Sound smelt. The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) supports Option 3- Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use. Option 3 is consistent with Washington
PENTTILA, DAN   April 11, 2014
ANACORTES, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Comments based on 42+ years of smelt studies, 1972-present. * Current fisheries are conducted on approx. 1-2% of the 250 miles of known spawning beaches in Puget Sound, with the enormous balance acting as a defacto spawning reserve. * Even the 250 mile figure is a conservative estimate of total spawning beach, with many miles likely yet to be mapped. * Any fisheries will be controlled by lack of public knowledge of the resource, loss of tradition of the fishery, lack of comm. markets, and continued loss of beach access. Smelt fisheries could be expanded in some areas. * If WDFW were truly concerned over the status of the resource, it would stop armoring of beaches in and around the spawning areas, instead of catering to its human HPA "customers, a greater longterm danger to the surf smetl resource. * The N. Camano residents shouting loudest about this "concern" should be told to remove their bulkheads and re-forest their shores. They've been told this for years. DEP
PLAZA, ROB   April 11, 2014
CAMANO ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
As a recreational smelter as well as a private owner of part of the most over- smelted beach in the state, I can personally attest to the fact that commercial smelting on the north shore of Camano Island has become a disorderly affair. Our tidelands here at Maple Grove use to appear to be "boiling" with spawning smelt and their eggs were so plentifull as to appear to be a layer of "tapioca" on the beach. Some years ago, commercial smelters started to target our beach and have since made themselves a near constant presence for five days a week during the summer and fall seasons. Virtually every high tide, the same fishermen set their nets on the same beach and commence to harvest as as much and as fast as they can. In almost every case, these commercial fishermen are harvesting the smelt before they have a chance to spawn. For the past three years, the same boats have been working the exact same section where two springs come down from the bluff and the smelt are quickly disappearing.
SHIELDS-BELISLE, MARGARET   April 8, 2014
SEATTLE, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
A robust smelt population is necessary for a healthy Puget Sound ecosystem. The commercial catch of smelt is huge, especially in the Maple Grove and Utsalady areas of Camano Island. Smelt are needed for healthy salmon runs and other fish and marine animals. Please protect our smelt and our Puget Sound and discontinue commercial fishing and reduce recreational smelt fishing.
DEGROOT, JENNY   April 8, 2014
EASTSOUND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 2 - Reduce both commercial and recreational use

Comments:
In the absence of clear scientific knowledge on the impact that recreation and commercial use of surf smelt potentially have on sea birds, marine mammals and other fishes, the prudent thing to do would be to reduce both uses (commercial and recreation) at vulnerable times of the surf smelt's life cycle (i.e. spawning, schooling, etc.). In this manner, a reduction of catch over time could present a better idea if more or less management has an impact, if any, on smelt-dependant populations.
RAPPUHN, DAVID   April 7, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use
PASCIUTO, GIULIA   April 6, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
MCCALMONT, DYLAN   April 5, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Smelting has a long history and is culturally important in Washington state. Prohibiting future smelting would be a grave mistake. Please do not make this mistake!
RUH, KATINA   April 4, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
If forage fish are in fact a key component in the food web and the populations of forage fish are vulnerable to depletion, why is there no poundage limit placed on commercial smelt fisherman? Could a stock of surf smelt be fished down to a level where even if commercial fishing were halted, the stock would not recover? Could parallels be drawn between the collapse of the Cherry Point herring stocks and the depletion of the surf smelt on northern Camano Island?
RUH, GORDON   April 4, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
The commercial fishery is NOT limited entry(Why). Any person, resident or not can purchase a license to commercially harvest smelt in Puget Sound. Unlike the management of shrimp, crab or salmon there are no limits on how much smelt can be harvested from any one particular management area. The commercial fishery is open 5 day per week, 24 hours per day. The nighttime fishing not only makes monitoring and enforcement difficult, but it is also a major source of noise and trespassing complaints from nearby private property owners.
JOHANNES, JERRY   April 4, 2014
BELLEVUE, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
I chose this option because it is the most restrictive offered. If surf smelt populations are declining then perhaps a commercial closure along with a very limited take by recreational fishermen should be implemented. Our forage fish need as much protection as we can afford them. Jerry Jerry Johannes Friends of Anderson Island Shoreline
LYON, ROB   April 2, 2014
LOPEZ, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
As a professional outdoor journalist in the islands, and after researching the smelt issue being addressed by the committee, I urge for No Change to current regulations.
LAWRENCE, GARY   March 31, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
March 30, 2014 Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife To whom it may concern: I participate with the Smelt fishing on Lopez Island. The beach we fish in Mud Bay on Lopez Island has been fished since the 1920's by generations of Lopezians. We have permission from the landowner who occasionally participates as well. Literally thousands of islanders and visitors have participated by watching and/or helping pull in the net by hand. For us this is a cultural event that we use as an opportunity to teach young and old alike about fishing and sea life. Sometimes it is just us die hards hand hauling the net but often it is dozens of men, women, and kids. We have had so many kids sorting through the net at times that there wasn't room for the adults. I can't speak for anyone except us Lopezians, but for us it isn't about money. Though the smelt are sold to a licensed fish buyer for resell to local Puget Sound restaurants, the amount that gets caught and sold doesn't cover the expenses. I
HUGHES, STEVE   March 31, 2014
CAMANO ISLAND,, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
I am a fishery biologist with BS and MS degrees in Biology and 45 years of experience in my profession. I appreciate the opportunity to make the following public comments. I live on the NW side of Camano Island in the Rocky Point Community. I spend a lot of time on the water in the Saratoga Pass region and I have sport fished silver smelt for 14 years. I sport fish smelt from the Rocky Point Community Club property off a cement bulkhead where there is a clear view of smelt schools that pass by typically one hour before and one hour after high tides (8 ft. +). This area and the NW side of Camano Island, in general, are well known and WDFW documented smelt spawning habitat along the high tide surf line where fine grain sands prevail. Based upon my years of experience of observing smelt schools and sport fishing from exactly the same location, there is no doubt that in this area, the size of smelt schools has substantially decreased during the past three years and the frequency of smelt schools passing by my vantage point has substantially decreased during the same three year time period. Collectively, this decrease in relative smelt abundance during the June-November three year period is conservatively 50%. During the past 14 years along the NW shoreline of Camano Island there has been a very substantial increase in smelt sport fishing and the number of commercial units (what I call beach seines) have increased from one operation seen on an intermittent basis to at least three units, at most every high tide, in the afternoon/evening. The increase in both sport and commercial fishing effort during recent years is substantial and geographically extensive within this region. I have no knowledge of how the collective catch volumes have changed over time. I strongly support the management option
MOULTON, LAWRENCE   March 31, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
I am writing to support Randy O
HIMMELBERGER, TIM   March 29, 2014
SNOQUALME, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
Smelt are lower in the food chain than the Salmon, Steelhead, cutthroat, bull trout, lingcod, halibut and other species often targeted by anglers. Lets protect their numbers by closing the commercial fishery now. Keep food for our game fish plentiful.
NICKELSON, DEB   March 29, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
LAWSON, GEORGE   March 29, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Other - none of the above

Comments:
I am very familiar with the commercial smelt operation on Lopez and regard Randy O'Bryant as a friend. To me there is one over-riding issue in this process: What is best for the health of this fish? In spite of the great education that Randy provides (a kind that is sorely needed)I have seen forage fish populations take a hit, and one can speculate that harvest has been part of the problem. In 1969 we had a purse seine fishery for Pacific Herring on Lopez and the herring population plummeted a few years later. But I do want WDFW to provide some better data as to the health of the smelt fishery in the San Juans. If it is stressed or has a weakening trend line, than stop all commercial and recreational fishing. If the data is fuzzy, I would take the conservative approach. If the health is good, then keep regs as they are.
DOHERTY, COLIN   March 28, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Please do not close the smelt fishery in Puget Sound. You obviously are not taking the time to make any substantial arguments as to why the fishery should be closed. The real reason seems to be because some waterfront homeowners on Camano are inconvenienced. Shame on you.
HUMMEL, MATT   March 28, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
It sounds like the decision to end commercial smelting in the puget sound is mainly do to the disgruntled property owners on Camano Island and not based on any study that points to a decrease in the smelt population. This is a very poor way to make policy which will effect the other smelt fisherman. If you have no science backing up a decrease in the smelt populations then the decision should be obvious to continue to allow commercial smelt fishing. If the decision is made otherwise then I would suspect that someone in the fisheries is a friend with one or more of the property owners and this should be investigated as it is a conflict of interest, and perhaps even a criminal violation.
BROUWER, BEN   March 27, 2014
HELENA, MT

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
I grew up on Lopez Island and while I now live in Montana, I cherish the times that I've returned to Lopez and had the chance to witness or participate in the smelt harvest with Randy O'Bryant on Mud Bay. The consideration to close the commercial smelt harvest does not seem to be based on sound science and yet, would eliminate a much celebrated fishing tradition. Please make no change to the Puget Sound smelt fishery rules. Thank you, Ben Brouwer
WILLEMSEN, COENRAAD   March 27, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
KNIGHT, JULIE   March 27, 2014
LOPEZ, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 2 - Reduce both commercial and recreational use

Comments:
The smelt fishing on Lopez is done in a respectful way, and provides opportunities for kids and adults to learn about local fish and how tides and weather affect the movements and behaviors of fish.
LUMSDEN, DOUG   March 27, 2014
ARLINGTON, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use
WARDLOW, DONALD   March 25, 2014
WOODINVILLE, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
These are forage fish for the fish that we are trying to restore to sustainable numbers. No reason to give them to commercials to sell them to Asian markets. Close it down until WDFW can assess the smelt biomass in Puget Sound.
BEARDEMPHL, MARK   March 25, 2014
TACOMA, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
Close it for commercial and recreational. Lets give the salmon something to eat in Puget Sound.
DEGNAN, LINDA   March 25, 2014
FRIDAY HARBOR, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Faulty reasoning behind arbitrary push to close this fishery, with serious impacts.
PETERSON, JANICE   March 25, 2014
FRIDAY HARBOR, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
One of the elements within this issue is something that seems to happen frequently when Washington officials are involved, that is the announcement of a public comment period or an important meeting that involves little advance notice. This happened to the smelt fishers some weeks ago when they had only a couple of days notice that their way of life was imminently endangered. From what I understand, the smelt are not endangered. There is little or no demonstrable evidence to the contrary. The word, "endangered," does have a fine ring to it in pushing the right buttons among non-scientists such as myself who do not want to see any species endangered and are susceptible to the threat. My "characters remaining" are dwindling rapidly. So I will plead for OPTION 1 with the following: Care about the people whose way of life is actually endangered and do not change the rules. This is not an environnmental issue, it is a political issue. Save the smelt fishermen. The smelt are doing ok
HELFMAN, GENE   March 25, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
I am a retired fish biologist and conservation educator, and have written extensively on fisheries management practices. I have participated in the smelt seining on Lopez Island and witnessed firsthand the positive educational impact that participants experience there. I applaud WDFW
MEYER, JUDITH   March 25, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
I am a resident of Lopez and an aquatic ecologist. There are not adequate data to justify a change in smelt fishing regulations. Regulatory decisions should be based on science, and the science available does not support any change in regulations. Furthermore, the smelt fishing done in Mud Bay on Lopez is one of the joys of living on Lopez. It is a community event that engages all generations of Lopezians and their visitors. There is absolutely no justification for eliminating this aspect of Lopez culture.
JONES, SARA   March 25, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
A well managed fishery doesn't mean a closed fishery. Even the Native Peoples actively managed their food resources and harvests. The commercial smelt fishery touches all things from Food Security, Local Economy, Family Traditions, Sustainable Management ("Conservation" for the old-timer generation) , Long-term Outlook, Resource Diversity, Biodiversity, the list goes on. Closing or reducing the fishery is presumptuous (as very little research has been done) and foolish (as a closed regulation door means the ultimate end of natural, wild food resource). A big picture perspective may even indicate the fishery could be expanded. Focus the State and Federal monies on practical, balanced and long-term resource management for human and natural needs that make sense, not based on a blind agenda.
CALKINS, MIKE   March 24, 2014
MOUNTLAKE TERRACE, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
Personally I think option 3 is the best for the overall health of the puget sound ecosystem. With the exception of dip nets. The most sustainable type of fishing for any fish is, hook and line in saltwater. I also really like the idea of using fish weirs in rivers for salmon. There is also a small amount of people that benefit from commercial fishing. Recreational fishing is a money maker and sustainable if we don't raise quota on high return years. And no retention of wild chinook anywhere in washington waters.
WAUGH, DAVID RANDALL   March 24, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
To whom it may concern, No scientific evidence exists to indicate that smelt stocks are either increasing or decreasing. Closure or reduction of the smelt harvest is not justified by science and appears completely arbitrary. Smelt provide an important, if relatively small compared to other fisheries, source of nourishment, income and and entertainment. Please choose option 1 and do not change the regulations. Sincerely, David Randall Waugh, Lopez Island
ORLEMAN, PATRICK   March 24, 2014
WALDRON, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
TALBOT, DARLENE   March 23, 2014
EASTSOUND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
From what I understand there are only 7 smelt licenses and 6 of the license holders showed up for the meeting with only 2 days notice. That tells me they care and it is important to their livelihood. There hasn't been any study of any kind to say whether or not there has been a decrease or increase in smelt. This is based on nothing but wealth and power which is wrong. Just because someone with money decided they didn't want these fisherman in front of their waterfront property a few weeks a year. How ridiculous. The economy is bad enough and now you want to take these peoples jobs from them to appease someone who probably doesn't even have to work. I'm tired of this kind of bullshit.
KORVER, GREG   March 23, 2014
MILL CREEK , WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
we need to preserve our base stock of fish and not deplete entire runs
GENIUCH, JOHN   March 23, 2014
FRIDAY HARBOR, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
There has been no identified problem for which regulatory changes would address. The harvesting of smelt is necessary to support the fishing industry and it has been done in a responsible manner for generations, and continues to. Thank you for your consideration.
HOLMES, GORDY   March 23, 2014
CAMANO ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
Clearly it is time to do something to prevent overfishing of the smelt.
SIROTINSKIY, ALEX   March 22, 2014
FEDERAL WAY , WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use
FORSYTH, ANDREW   March 22, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use
CIVILLE, RICHARD   March 22, 2014
FRIDAY HARBOR, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
HEAGLE, RUSS   March 22, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use
ECKHART, LISA   March 22, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use
PENWELL, FRANK   March 22, 2014
FRIDAY HARBOR, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
SIKES, ROSEMARY   March 22, 2014
PORT TOWNSEND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use
MOESCH, CAROLEE   March 22, 2014
CAMANO ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
Please preserve the smelt
BOOTH, BEN   March 22, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
As far as I can tell your paragraph that I'm going to quote sums up the problem: "Population abundance estimates are not available for smelt. However, Puget Sound-wide commercial catch and catch rates indicate relatively high harvest over the last several years. During that time, commercial fishing has been concentrated in marine areas where recreational smelt fishing also is popular. The overlap of the two fisheries has sparked both concerns about localized over harvesting and frustration from local homeowners". It appears that homeowners are complaining about fishing in their neighborhoods. OK, do something about that neighborhood! You have zero science to tell you that the fish is in decline. You have fishermen that for generations have seen no decline. You have indications of more eggs on the beach to suggest that the fish are more widespread than believed. Shame on you for even considering closing this fishery or limiting it based on complaints not fish stock analysis.
HANSON, DEBRA   March 22, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
ALEXANDER, SHAWN   March 22, 2014
OLGA, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
With only 7 commercial license holders and no sign of decrease in stocks, why change? Just for the sake of change? or to make new violators and new violations and fines? Or do they have another reason?
JONES, WILLIAM   March 22, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
Absurd amount of overfishing of this fragile fish, and by very few people who are reckless and unconcerned about long term viability as well as the property rights of the lands and neighborhoods they "fish" in. Protect the health of the smelt fishery by closing it down, this year!!!
SPRINGER, MARTINE   March 21, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use
STECK, THOMAS   March 21, 2014
SNOHOMISH, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
I live 4 houses west of Maple Groove Boat Launch on the beach. This location affords me a good spot to watch what is going on with the smelt population. My concern is with the substantial drop in the mass of smelt that used to pass by my bulkhead. From 2004 to 2008 there were so many smelt that at times it would be impossible to see into the water as rivers of smelt passed by or spawned right at the base of my bulkhead. Today we are lucky to see any and when they are present there are very few. My family no longer fishes for smelt as we are afraid that the few we take each year would adversely impact the spawning population. It is time to get the commercial fishing for smelt closed and reduce sport fishing take drastically. Limit the spot fishery to one or two days a week during the middle of the week and limit legal smelting time to daylight hours only.
HEDRICK, RICHARD   March 21, 2014
PENDLETON, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
This is a Camano Island property owners gripe issue not a fisheries issue. Leave it be.
WOMACK, JULIE   March 21, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Saving any endangered species is worthwhile, but putting stricter regulations on smelt fishing is ridiculous. There is no evidence the smelt are in decline, the only problem seems to be with waterfront homeowners objecting to the fishing going on in 'their' neighborhood. Smelt fishing is still done in the traditional way; this is a cultural heritage that should be allowed to continue. Please do not allow an expanding population of waterfront homes to destroy this part of our fishing heritage.
DILTZ, YVETTE   March 21, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use
CAMPBELL, FRANK   March 21, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Fish and Game needs to stop and think about the little guy . . .the little fisherman, the sport fisherman, the working man. Do not let political pressures change what is right.
PHILLIPS, HUCK   March 21, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Please preserve this important fishery! More research should be considered to get a better understanding of existing populations and sustainable harvest numbers. But no changes should be made to this small-scale fishery at this time. Thank you.
JONES, NICK   March 21, 2014
LOPEZ, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
I have been on and around the water here since the early 90s, as a recreational and commercial fisherman, fish buyer, shellfish grower and now parent of four wild beach loving children. Surf Smelt populations continue to grow in the San Juans. There are far more around now than there were twenty years ago. We buy the smelt caught in Randy O'Bryant's smelt fishery and we make a point of going to the fishery as a family. It is one of our favorite activities. Please do not cut us off from one of the richest, most connective activities happening in our area. I have watched over the years as WDFW has destroyed one commercial/subsistence fishery after another. I have also learned that there is absolutely no link between department actions and any discernible impacts or problems. In going after this kind of activity WDFW leps to destroy credibility with rural tidewater residents. Please, please, do not do this thing. It is counterproductive and won't "save" a thing. Nick Jones
JACOBS, LEO   March 20, 2014
MOUNT VERNON, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
Please use option 3; your common sense would be appreciated.
HARTLERODE, NEAL   March 20, 2014
EASTSOUND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
There is no danger to the smelt. There is actually less people smelting now than years earlier. This proposed change would not affect the fish but the fishermen. BAD IDEA!!
MARKS, DEREK   March 20, 2014
CAMANO ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
Please follow the best available science and the recommendations of the PFMC and allow the resource to recover and provide value to serve as forage needs for other species that depend on them (e.g., Chinook salmon). Additionally, please tighten the rules for the recreational users so that no loopholes can be exploited for commercial gain.
GEORGESON, TED   March 20, 2014
BALKELY ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
As a water front property owner, I realize that I do not own the beach in front of my home. This pulic use comes with the territory! Very dissapointed that wdfw has not done their proper homework before trying to impose changes to the already many and questionable rules and regulations.
BANKS, TODD   March 20, 2014
WOODINVILLE, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
We need to learn from herring problem and protect smelt.
HAGEL, ROD   March 20, 2014
SPOKAEN, WA

Preferred Option:   Other - none of the above

Comments:
How can you make a change when you have no information other than increased harvests; which tend to indicate increased stocks (when the # of licenses is the same)? Do what the taxpayers are paying for, & do an objective study, please. It would seem to me we should be increasing the harvest limits. Sincerely yours, Rod Hagel
BLACK, TOBY   March 20, 2014
SEATTLE, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use
TATE, MARTIN   March 20, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
MARZOLF, MARK   March 20, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
The smelt used to be plentiful as were the predators that depended on them, the ducks and seagulls, the dogfish and salmon and cutthroat trout, and the seals and porpoises now are seldom seen. They were a critical link in the food chain that are disappearing.My brothers and friends tell me stories about plentiful smelt here 30 years ago. From our house we have observed increased catching by people w/rakes that are several times bigger than the usual recreation rake. These are not recreation catchers and they trespass on neighbors beaches. I believe they are small commercial fishermen unlicensed. The commercial boats are using nets along the beaches and corralling all the spawning smelt. If you have not kept records of the smelt population over the years to know that the smelt population has depleted, you should ask some of the locals who have been around for years.
SANSEN, JERI   March 20, 2014
FRIDAY HARBOR, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
MANNING, JOHN   March 20, 2014
FRIDAY HARBOR, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
No problem, no change
BRANT, JAMES   March 20, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Destroying a way of life does not equate to saving smelt stocks when you have no data to support the smelt population. What is this really about?
ZAEHRING, DAN   March 20, 2014
FRIDAY HARBOR, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Any changes at this time would be totally without merit. Any effort to restrict smelt fishing license holders without ANY hard data to support the change is irresponsible. I would urgently suggest staying with the status quo until there is something concrete concerning smelt populations to warrant it. To restrict licensed fishing now without data would be an irreversible tragedy.
SCHLINK, WILLIAM   March 20, 2014
BLAKELY ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
No one has shown any reason to change the regulations or seasons for sport or commercial smelt fishing! Until a study can be done to determine the health of this fishery, I see no reason to change the rules. There has been no proof of or any indication that this fishery is endangered!
DAVIDSON, DOUGLAS   March 20, 2014
NEWCASTLE , WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
There is no scientific data to support that any change in the Smelt Fishing regulations are required. Please do not change any of the present regulations.
GIBBONS, PERRI   March 20, 2014
EASTSOUND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
KILDUFF, ED   March 20, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
I want smelt fishing to continue on Lopez Island as it has for decades. We have a healthy environment and the smelt fishery connects Lopezians to the nature. No to overregulation. No to rules without a credible scientific basis.
JAHNKE, DEBORAH   March 19, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use
POIROT, SUSAN   March 19, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
There don't appear to be enough commercial licenses to truly affect the stocks. Sport fishermen don't usually do that much overall harvest during the limited season we are allowed. Please don't further limit the public's rights for no good reason.
GUTSCHMIDT, RALPH   March 19, 2014
EASTSOUND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
DAVIDSON, JOHN   March 19, 2014
BLAKELY ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Don't fix what isn't broken. No change to existing rules for smelt. Thank you.
WERDA, TOM   March 19, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use
NEWTON, GARY   March 19, 2014
CINEBAR, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Since we have not had a season for 3 years the smelt have come back. The last year they had a season,my good friend got 6 fish all day! My wife and I went two weeks and never got a one, but the Mar. 1st. day we got our limit. It took all day till noon but we did it. It seems that what you have been doing has worked!! If it would be possible,maybe have 2 days a week next year, but only if the supply of fish allows it. Thank you Gary and Sherrie Newton.
HALLQUIST, SCOTT   March 19, 2014
EASTSOUND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Better data needed to support this change. Thank you.
DAVIDSON, LAURIE   March 19, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Please leave the regulations as they are unless and until there is evidence to do anything different. It is one of the few fisheries that children can participate in. Your own website says "Population abundance estimates are not available for smelt." There is NO reason to shut this fishery down. Thank you, Laurie Davidson Blakely Island WA
HENDRDICKS, DAN   March 19, 2014
KENMORE, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
Protect the smelt now while you can. If you don't the resource will be gone and just another resource you can blame the sport guys for depleting. Act now!
ROSENBERG, ALLEN   March 19, 2014
SAN JUAN ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
In the absence of convincing evidence of substantial decline in the resource stock, and/or of substantial increase in commercial pressure, it seems no action is justified.
GROVES, PETE   March 19, 2014
FRIDAY HARBOR, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
It appears this is regulation for the sake of regulation and not for the sake of the fishery. Shame on WDFW.
MANDICH, JOE   March 19, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
MANDICH, JOE   March 19, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
BATES, REBECCCA   March 19, 2014
FRIDAY HARBOR, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
There does not seem to be evidence of a decline in the smelt population. Smelt fishermen should not lose their jobs arbitrarily. Let them continue their commercial fishing for smelt.
CANINE, CRAIG   March 19, 2014
EASTSOUND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 2 - Reduce both commercial and recreational use

Comments:
A more conservative approach to surf smelt management appears warranted for the following reasons: 1. Approximately one-third of forage fish (including surf smelt) populations are thought to be needed to sustain seabirds, and populations of many seabirds in Puget Sound/Georgia Basin are declining; 2. Forage fish populations are vulnerable and don't always recover from depletion; 3. Forage fish are worth twice as much in the water as in the net because they serve as prey for other commercially and recreationally important fisheries. 4. Surf smelt provide food for chinook salmon, which are the primary food for Southern Resident killer whales, which are an endangered species.
GLUCKMAN, DAVID   March 19, 2014
PORT TOWNSEND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
Smelt and other forage fish in Puget Sound and nearshore waters of the Pacific are critical for the health and survival of the larger sport and recreational fish as well as birds and sea mammals. It makes no sense to allow a commercial (and anything but a small recreational take) of these lower food chain fish when the larger fish they support are so much more important to the whole marine food chain as well as the economy and local food supply in the Sound. A number of declining seabird species like Common Murres, Pigeon Guillemots, Rhinoceros Aucklets and Marbled Murlets depend on these forage fish for survival. I would strongly recommend that a ban on the taking of all commercial and recreational forage fish in the Sound be established before we discover the negative unintended consequences of this take on the whole food chain.
BOWMAN, DONALD   March 19, 2014
SEATTLE, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
Time to institute a complete ban on all harvesting to allow stocks to rebuild to safe levels.
MANDICH, ROSALIE   March 19, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
ROUTH, JOHN   March 19, 2014
PGH, PA

Preferred Option:   Option 2 - Reduce both commercial and recreational use

Comments:
Reducing harvest will allow for increased smelt and salmon populations and not cripple the smelt industry. Fine line between saving wildlife and human livelihood. Orca will move to where the food is if necessary.
GUBRUD, MIKE   March 18, 2014
MT VERNON, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
As a homeowner at Maple Grove my family have had to endure not only the commercial thugs at our launch (100 feet from our property line) but the summertime rape and pillage of this resource all along the residential area of Maple Grove and as far down the beach as we can see. Sometimes we wonder what kind of getaway this is anyway. We like to enjoy our beach home without the nuisance of these thugs. I witnessed one of these men verbally abuse a Snohomish County Sheriff deputy that was called to the ramp to break up an altercation they were having at the ramp. I also wonder why its proposed to "limit" the sportsman as there are so little that we take it is a mere "drop in the bucket" compared to the huge "totes" that the commercial guys take with NO limit at all??? We used to be able to "rake" years ago but now it seems that the only legal method is to dip?? That just scares them away! We only want a few for a meal or two! Seems unfair dosen't it?
CONNOR, SILVIA   March 18, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
The main reason most people eat Salmon is to get Omega 3s. The public needs to know that eating Chia Seeds will give them nine times the Omega 3s than that of Salmon.
POWELL, MARK   March 18, 2014
BAINBRIDGE ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
Smelt are important food for marine animals, and fishing should be severely restricted or ended in order to rebuild depleted Puget Sound fish and mammals.
NEALE, BARBARA   March 18, 2014
CAMANO IS, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 2 - Reduce both commercial and recreational use

Comments:
Too bad option 4 couldnt read: Close commercial AND reduce recreational.
PIRKLE, LAWRENCE   March 18, 2014
MOUNT VERNON, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use
JOHNSON, AMANDA   March 18, 2014
GREEN BAY, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
Since the smelt are being over-fished, many other species are being affected by this decrease in smelt. This leads to reduced numbers of other commercial fish species, so I think that option 3 is the better option until such time that the smelt populations are restored and fishing can be completed sustainably.
WOJCIK, WALT   March 18, 2014
BOTHELL, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
Puget Sound Smelt are a valuable forage fish for salmon and should not be commercially fished.
STAUFFER, DAN   March 18, 2014
LYNNWOOD, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
Forage fish of all species in the sound need to be brought back in bigger numbers! Raise the minimum spawning threshholds for smelt, herring, sardine, candlefish......all of them!
GRETZ, BONNIE   March 18, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 2 - Reduce both commercial and recreational use

Comments:
reduce for awhile to give the fish a chance to recover! Will also help the salmon and the whales.
SATHER, ERIC   March 18, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
Please close the commercial fishery and limit recreational use. It makes sense to treat the smelt fishery in the same fashion as the Puget Sound Herring fishery. Keep it small, keep it regulated so we can protect the forage fish that salmon depend on.
TURNER, THOMAS   March 18, 2014
SILVERDALE, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use
TURNER, THOMAS   March 18, 2014
SILVERDALE, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use
CHAMPAGNE, N.   March 18, 2014
GIG HARBOR, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
I opt for #3. it is vital to keep the food chain of our waters alive and well. We have the power to do so, and that should be the priority. The smelt will be poached anyway, the other options will be abused to the fullest length of the spectrum, so by instilling opt 3, some salmon and whales will continue to survive.
WERNER, MATT   March 18, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use
WALKER, MICHELLE   March 18, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use
AGAPOFF, JAMES   March 18, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
Smelt is an important part of the food chain for many animals in Puget Sound. I believe it is in the best interest of the local habitat to limit its use.
FROST, MEGAN   March 18, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
I think since it's starting to effect the ocean and wildlife that it should be a sign that it's headed toward effecting us humans in a bad way. We should want to save the ocean life, not be rid of it.
THAM, DANIEL   March 18, 2014
SINGAPORE, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
Please provide more protect for smelt!
LILLQUIST, KIRSTEN   March 18, 2014
LYNNWOOD, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use
LILLQUIST, KIRSTEN   March 18, 2014
LYNNWOOD, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use
LILLQUIST, MARVIN   March 18, 2014
LYNNWOOD, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
As a part time summer resident for over fifty years at Maple Grove, I have seen a rapid decline in smelt numbers in the past 8 years; in particular, in the last 3 years. Last summer I saw smelt hit the beach only one time and neighbors have seen similar decimation of the resource. Usually we harvest smelt for 2-3 meals a summer. Therefore, I believe that commercial fishing is the problem. However, I would agree to a closure for everyone until the resource returns and with drastic changes or elimination of commercial fishing for smelt.
BRESLIN , VINCENT   March 17, 2014
HALIFAX,

Preferred Option:   Option 2 - Reduce both commercial and recreational use

Comments:
After the radio activitity in japan there were many types of fish which due to radiation they can cause it to spread also with the potential of causing cancer. Many of those fish have made it over the Pacific Ocean to North America, and some are already on the supermarket shelves. By not reducing either, this potential of spreading radio active effects and/or cancer will increase as the amount of fish inflicted reach North America.
HO, ALEX   March 17, 2014
,

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
As a concerned citizen for the well being of Puget Sound's salmon and the orcas that depend on them, I am in favor of option 3 for protecting the vitality of the food chain and marine species in Puget Sound.
BECKER, JEFF   March 17, 2014
REDMOND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use
GARRETT, HOWARD   March 17, 2014
FREELAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
My concern is for the cumulative effects of the many factors that diminish overall biomass and diversity. Overfishing of forage fish reduces nutritional intake for a wide range of wildlife, up to and including endangered Southern Resident orcas, who depend on the salmon that in turn depend on forage fish both in inland waters and at sea.
FAHEY, LOGAN   March 17, 2014
EDMONDS, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use
FAHEY, COLLIN   March 17, 2014
EDMONDS, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use
FAHEY, RYAN   March 17, 2014
EDMONDS, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use
FAHEY, KRISTEN   March 17, 2014
EDMONDS, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use
FAHEY, JAMES   March 17, 2014
EDMONDS, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use
UNKRUR, KELLY   March 17, 2014
SPANAWAY, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use
UNKRUR, ELIZABETH   March 17, 2014
SPANAWAY, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use
UNKRUR, KENNETH   March 17, 2014
SPANAWAY, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use
HARRIS, RONALD   March 17, 2014
DES MOINES, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use
SMITH, DONALD   March 17, 2014
EDMONDS, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
I appreciate this being addressed as I would much rather smelt be available for local fish populations. Thanks Don
FIESTA, BRYAN   March 17, 2014
BREMERTON, WA

Preferred Option:   Other - none of the above

Comments:
Cast nets should be allowed for smelt. Many coastal states already allow cast nets. New Rule Proposal: ''SMELT'', Herring, Anchovy, Squid & Sardine 25 pounds in aggregate. May be taken by dip net, cast net, angling and jigs. Cast net must be in immediate control of the angler. Mesh size limited to 1" maximum, no larger than 10
JOHNSON, DAVID   March 17, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
The unregulated continuation of this fishery must stop. We learned long ago that these stocks are necessary to the health of other species.
KAIMMER, STEPHEN   March 17, 2014
SEATTLE, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
you can't let unrestrained removal of forage fish continue.too many populations are in trouble
QUALLS, RANDY   March 17, 2014
TACOMA, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
This would be a tragedy if left alone
NGUYEN, ANTHONY   March 17, 2014
EVERETT, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
I believe there are so many rules for the consumer or recreational person paying a license fees of about $90 per year and with limitations on everything. There is hardly an enjoyable fishing or clamming any more and there is not much go around for everyone just to enjoy fishing or clamming. There are so many rules and regulations, we can't hardly keep up. With the commercial involve there go all the fish for everyone else. Fishing and clamming is for everyone to enjoy, it is a family activities every single year and family needs to spend times together. By spending time together, this is where the fishing and clamming is all about. Thank you for listening. Anthony
STUMPF, TIM   March 17, 2014
SNOHOMISH, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use
HALDEMAN, DOUGLAS   March 17, 2014
EDMONDS, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
The commercials are over fishing the resource. With no limits on the number of permits it will continue to get worse till the smelt are gone.
OPSTAD, DAVID   March 17, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use
KELLEY, MATTHEW   March 16, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 2 - Reduce both commercial and recreational use

Comments:
I am for a reduction in both fisheries until a proper study on the benefit of smelt to the puget sound is available. I think small recreational fishery should exist and catches need to be recorded. I think a small commercial fishery should exist with catches recorded and the fishing areas need to be spread out or moved around as to not take too many fish from one area. I always think that a commercial fishery license should be way more expensive as they are depleting a resource and profiting from it. The next step is to get the native tribes to follow suit. This may be the key to our salmon and steelhead survival in the puget sound.
SANFORD, THOMAS   March 16, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
Dear WDWF Commission: From our property on Utsalady Bay, Camano Is, I know that during the last 20 years there are fewer seabird visits and Surf Smelt runs. We used to carry binoculars on our beach walks to observe and identify the diving ducks. We no longer bother. Gulls announced the arrival of the Surf Smelt. They are quiet now. I think the trend is so strong in Utsalady Bay that I am concerned that the Surf Smelt population may be headed for a crash. My understanding is that the commercial catch is about 100,000 # per year. I suspect the catch is higher and recreational fishing take may be comparable* . I think that a population assessment and recovery plan must be prepared. In the meantime, a cautionary but necessary action is to stop commercial and restrict recreational fishing. Option 3 is the least we should do in the circumstances. Respectfully submitted, Thomas B. Sanford, Ph.D. Professor of Oceanography, UW * Why are licenses & catch records not required?
TUCKERMAN, STEVE   March 16, 2014
BELLINGHAM, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
Forage fish are a critical prey species for many of the desirable marine species in the Salish Sea including the endangered Chinook Salmon. According to WDFW , "Little is known about any forage fish species away from their spawning grounds.". It seems to me that one cannot properly "manage" any population without a sound knowledge of their food source. Thus, allowing an unknown continued harvest of forage fish without understanding the population is analogous to attempting to raise cattle on property where you do not know the size of the available land, nor the productivity of the grasses ther and then selling off unknown portions of the (unknown) land. Allowing a harvest of forage fish without understanding their populations and life histories is immorally and probably illegal as well.
WATNE, BRIAN   March 16, 2014
KEYPORT, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
In Liberty Bay, along the Keyport Peninsula,including Dogfish Bay and Lemolo, there has been an annual return of smelt and candlefish which seem to be slowly making a comeback. We are seeing increased spawning activity in these areas, especialy in Dogfish Bay after oysters were planted several years ago. During the smelt and candlefish returns we are seeing a large increase in the precence and acivity of searun cuthroat and juvinille salmon. Eagles, osprey and Blue Heron numbers have increased noticably as well. We have little sport harvest along these areas but there has been a commercial fisherman netting the shorelines. The large amount of smelt being removed from these rebounding stocks is troubling. I have witnessed thousands of pounds being harvested in dogfish bay and Keyport alone. I support sustainable harvest for the citizens but do not believe it is a wise use of our resources to have one or two users benifit financialy while taxpayers pay to rebuild the habitat and fishery.
NELSON, ERIC   March 16, 2014
TACOMA, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
HINNERS, DOUGLAS   March 16, 2014
TACOMA, WA

Preferred Option:   Other - none of the above

Comments:
Hello, My name is Douglas Hinners, and I am both a catering manager and chef at Pacific Lutheran University. I recently received an impassioned email from one of our seafood suppliers expressing their fears that new regulations may shut down the Washington commercial smelting industry. Local sourcing of food products is an integral part of our business model, as well as a point of pride for our dining department. This, coupled with the strong Norwegian heritage of our institute (a heritage which often holds a direct effect on our menus) makes this a matter of concern for me. That said, I admit that I have only been exposed to one side of this issue. If there is a party with solid information in support of these changes, please place me in contact with them prior to the March 21st Mill Creek meeting. These changes would have a direct impact on my community. I only wish to be certain that whatever decision is made, it is the right one for both our ecosystem and my business.
BROADBENT, ADAM   March 16, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
There seem to be very little facts available to make such sweeping changes in WA commercial smelt fishing. Indisputable data on smelt numbers must be ascertained before any change in fishing dynamic is warranted. From every impression I get, the smelt are increasing numbers if anything. Please don't destroy this livlihood and community experience for the sake of a few who don't like fishermen.
POTTS, ANN   March 16, 2014
LOPED ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
FORCE, TAMMY   March 16, 2014
DENTON, TX

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
While I live in TX now I was raised on Camano Island and come back often.
BALDWIN, PATRICK   March 15, 2014
CAMANO ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 2 - Reduce both commercial and recreational use
HAVENS, BOB   March 15, 2014
WOODINVILLE, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
Commercial fishing has intruded on to private lands. The amount of fish that access these private lands for spawning has reduced dramatically in my lifetime.
LOWE, CHERYL   March 15, 2014
GREENBANK, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
WDFW forage fish plan states that protecting the resource is highest priority. Commercial arvest should be suspended until more is known about consequences of over-harvesting/ peak harvest numbers. Too much is at risk if even limited commercial and recreational harvest continue to impact smelt numbers, especially with all the other challenges to the population from bulkhheads and ocean health issues.
SURBAUGH, MADDEN   March 15, 2014
EASTSOUND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
As a professional chef who is focused on sustainable regional food I strongly believe commercial smelt fishing is an important industry to keep active. Smelt is a sustainable fish, there is currently no evidence to the contrary. It is truly local/regional product that provides lifestyle jobs, is sparking interest in the culinary communities, helps to expand on our regional tourism (culinary, AG, aquaculture), and is good for our communities. I think that if there is some actual concern about the sustainability of the commercial fishing more studies can be conducted to prove this, but simy closing the commercial fishing due to resident complaints and personal feelings is unprofessional and not in the publics best interest.
EDWARDS, BRAD   March 15, 2014
ANACORTES, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
Its time to end commercial fishing of smelt, the runs seem smaller and infrequent. Give them a rest for a few years , maybe they will make a recovery that would allow some limited commercial fisheries
PASCIUTO, CIRO   March 15, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Please do not change the rules for smelting. I strongly support our local smarter who is connected to the past, our culture and our community. If shoreline property owners dislike lights at night, we would have to curtail all boat activity and turn off the moon. We are shoreline property owners and we like the log boom and tug that appears from time to time. On Lopez, we get a call to join I and anywhere from 10-20 people show up to help. From tots to seniors, everyone is there to lend a hand, bring food to share and generally share in the experience. Everyone goes away having learned something, about fish, the sea, food, sharing. Please don't end this island tradition. Ciro Pasciuto
FULLER, KURT   March 15, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
You have provided no scientific data on which to make a proper decision. Frustrated homeowners should not influence the decision.
POTTS, LORI   March 15, 2014
MONROE, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
the supply should go to the wild life....we are getting short on food supply.....need to protect the rest that we have.
LUNN, CAROLYN   March 15, 2014
MONROE, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
if this continues there will be not food for the wildlife.....please be concerned over the wildlife.
OBRYANT, KEVIN   March 15, 2014
LOPEZ, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
What is wrong with you, my whole class at school and other friends get to see fish and crabs, sharks ect old people teach us, about The tides, moon, beach, eggs, and what is in the water..... ell grass, Smelt, herring, even mid shipmen fish, squid, shrimp, jelly fish. Will I be the last kid in Washington state to see this. shame on you, the harm is to my life and my kids, if I have any... Who will show us what we are caring for or why.
MAAS, CHRIS   March 14, 2014
ANACORTES, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
ENDERLE, JAN   March 14, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
there is no reason to change a way of life on the islands of WA state that harms no one.
ROVENTE, ANTHONY   March 14, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
NO CHANGE
COILEY, CHRISTOPHER   March 14, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
The Lopez smelt fishery is small and a vital part of this community.
DOVGALYUK, RUSLAN   March 14, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
I personally would like to see a recreational smelt period (I missed the open Saturday days on the Cowlitz river) over a commercial fishing. Thinking about the most good for the most people, I think it would be recreational use. This would allow many people and families, including myself to take part in catching smelt for food without over harvesting by allowing both commercial and recreational use. I think there are already enough commercial fishing opportunities for commercial fishermen/women and the public who pay for licenses should get the chance to keep smelt instead of corporates making profit off of it. If both were possible, I would choose both but I would prefer recreational use so more people can enjoy smelt. Just my 2 cents.
HARMON, K A   March 14, 2014
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Our family happily joins in the fun gatherings on occasional afternoons/evenings (every other week or so) on Lopez Island for smelt fishing. With other community members we help pull in the nets, see what they contain, take out and look at other species, and collect the smelt...and then help clean it and cook it and eat it right then and there... It is my daughter's favorite thing to do on the island and it has stimulated a very real interest in sea life around us. Please do not take this away from the community without providing strong evidence of declining stocks and threatened status. Thank you.
SISK, OSCAR   March 14, 2014
POULSBO, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
How can you regulate if you don't monitor? (Collect data) If you do not understand how to accomplish that there are resources (e.g. UW fisheries) you can access. Rule making should be informed, not simply collecting "opinions."
KAPSANDY, JAYMIN   March 14, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use
DUPAR, LISA   March 14, 2014
REDMOND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
The very same people who are complaining are probably the ones who want chefs to be creative and cutting edge and offer smelt dishes on the menus of their favorite restaurants. Please prove there is a REAL issue of over fishing before shutting the fisherman down!
KEELEY, LYNNE   March 13, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
No reason to change what has been successful for years. I choose option 1
DOWNEY, CANDACE   March 13, 2014
LOPEZ, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
This is a low impact and very old fishery. There are scientific data present to require change. Randy O'Bryant makes smelting an educational experience for my children to get close to the water and sea life which they may not have otherwise.
VON, WILL   March 13, 2014
SEA, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Thank you for observing and working with suggestions of professionals , who work in this field on a daily basis. Including them in helping judge fishery counts.
SMITH, ROBERT   March 13, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
I prefer that there be no change in the current smelt fishery. WSF&G could not give any figures to the license holder-6 of7 IN THE STATE at the Mill Creek meeting on January 30 to support that the fishery has any sustainability problems. WSF&G only got the notification to the license holders on the 28 of January,said it was an oversight.Shame on you for that,they should have been notified at least a month in advance.There are many people who vacation in winter from Washington, and to give the license holders but two days notice is just not right. was told that Craig Burley, who led the meeting was surprised that 6 of 7 showed up, as if these people wouldn't care. It seems awful "fishy" to me and possibly Illegal. What date was this meeting scheduled to be held on Jan 30?And Craig B. said it was an oversight. I am betting that if a person were caught without a hunting/fishing/shellfish license by WSF&G,and person said was an oversight, they would get ticketed. KEEP AS IS--THANKS-RS
ANGEL, PAUL   March 13, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Without statistical information supporting a decline in the smelt population in Washington State waters there should be no change in the current fishing regulations.
HEDLEY, TOMMY   March 13, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND , WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
SCHOBER, CHASE   March 13, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND , WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
I have participated in the Lopez Island smelting party often and I feel that, as a young teen of Lopez, it has impressed a tight community sense and bonding experience for the participants. I constantly meet new people and I seriously doubt that the small operation that is being run on Lopez has any impact on the smelt population of the San Juans.
O'DAUGHERTY, DIANA   March 13, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
As a full time resident of a small rural island, the comment in the third paragraph on your Regulations/Smelt page: ..."The overlap of the two fisheries has sparked both concerns about localized overharvesting and frustration from local homeowners." concerns me. The fact that so many people have exclusive waterfront properties in this area the statment makes me think that there is another reason for this change, that it's not about the smelt, but about someone's waterfront view. On Lopez Island smelting is a community affair - please let it stay that way! Thank you!
KVISTAD, BRIAN   March 13, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
MARINELLI, BILL   March 13, 2014
SEATTLE, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
if its not broken, don't fix it. This is a sustainable fishery!
HEDLEY, HUGH   March 12, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Our families have enjoyed local smelting for many years.We do not see any decline in smelt stock during this time, some years there has an increase. Thanks.
JOHNSON, ERIC   March 12, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Please use science to justify and make changes. If there's science available to support the closure, present it. If not, why are we even having this conversation? Do NIMBY beach folks with deep pockets justify eliminating a way of life? I hope not. Smelting on Lopez is a part of growing up here for a lot of our kids. Please leave it alone, or make a cogent argument why it should go away. Thank you, Eric Johnson
FINLEY, ANDREA   March 12, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Please allow this generations-old practice to continue!
CONNER, MIKE   March 12, 2014
WALDRON, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Smelt harvest option 1 please. Smelt fishing is a great way for people to have meaningful interaction with the marine environment. When your protein comes from the sea, then you care deeply about water quality, sustainability of fisheries, the whole ecosystem. Waterfront homeowners be damned. Waterfront development is a real threat to forage fish and the salmon, etc... who depend on them. Eliminating sustainable fisheries is not a valid way to manage an ecosystem. Keep stocks healthy and keep people fishing. -MPC
POST, DANIEL   March 12, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
I have reviewed the catch records for commercial fishing and see no decline or reason to change the existing regulations.
BAIN, SAMUEL   March 12, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Please dont shut commercial smelt fishing down. There are only a few commercial smelt fishermen, but their livelihoods depend on it. Without clear and peer reviewed science to support the idea that the already limited commercial fishing is damaging the resource, there is no reason to close down this revenue generating fishery. We need to keep the puget sound working and fishing is a key part of that, a part of our heritage and economy. Thank you.
JOHNSON, PETER   March 11, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
as a life long resident of Puget sound I have known two holders of beach seine smelt licenses . I have enjoyed being able to be able to purchase fish from these hard workings individuals . I see no evidence of reduced stocks this seems to be just another example of fish and game mismanagement
CLARK, DENISE   March 11, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
There should be no change in policy until Fish and Wildlife gets reliable data on fish populations. At the moment there is no justifiable reason to change.
DANIELSEN, TERRY   March 11, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
I am most concerned that the smelt landing records from Fish and Game do not support the numbers presented at the public meeting.
OTERO, APRIL   March 11, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
PASCIUTO, KIM   March 11, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Our local smelt fishermen are an integral part of island life. There has been no justification offered for a change in regulations. Please do not change.
LIGHT, KENDON   March 11, 2014
MOUNT VERNON, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
I recommend no change, unless there is credible scientific data/studies showing the smelt population is in danger, or decreasing to a point where sea-birds, larger fish and sea-mammals cannot find sufficient food. I suggest starting a licensing fee for people fishing for smelt. The funds could be used to conduct a scientific study of the smelt population.
SUTCH, NANCY   March 11, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
MEILAK, DONN   March 11, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
SUTCH, JEANNIE   March 11, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
When one of the first comments in your article contains the words "population estimates are not available" - it is challenging to believe that your conclusions are based on accurate data. The few men and women who fish these areas will be the first to stop fishing if they thought they were endangering ANY species. They have first hand and multi-generational data they utilize to ensure they are fishing a healthy prevalent species. They have respect for what they do, and do it honestly. They are responsible, earnest, hard-working folks who deserve to be heard and have all sides of any changes considered before sweeping actions are implemented.
SIKES, RON   March 11, 2014
PORT TOWNSEND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
Any plan should err on the side of conservation of the smelt. Other resources such as fish and marine birds are diminished/threatened by a collapse of smelt populations. Technology allows over harvest. Close commercial harvest in Puget Sound or elsewhere to protect the resource. Reduce or stop personal use take where and when necessary.
DOLPH, PHYLLIS   March 11, 2014
ANACORTES, WA

Preferred Option:   Other - none of the above

Comments:
With the reconfiguration of the bank at Cornet Bay,our neighbor who is an avid fishermen, is saying that where Smelt were abundant previously, now there are none. The fisherman is Ken Read at # 360-293-6385. He has a boat and would likely love to talk with you about this situation.
THOMAS, L. C.   March 11, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Allow this fishery to continue. The objections of waterfront residents to nighttime smelting lights reminds me of the people who build their house near the airport and then start complaining about the noise.
MAYO, RONALD   March 10, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
I own the waterfront tidelands where Randy O'bryant smelts on Lopez Island. To my personal knowledge others have smelted there before Randy at least before 1966. Randy asked for my permission some years ago to smelt there and I granted it. Typically when he fishes there a number of folks will help and observe. Crowds of 40 and more are common. In the 15+ years Randy has fished here I have never found reason to not want Randy or his helpers there. I am especially happy to watch the kids who are part of the crowd and when I have had a chance to talk to them, I am impressed by the appreciation they voice over their experience. And the same is true of the adults.
RABEL, MATTHEW   March 10, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Your concerns about the possibility of localized overharvesting and frustration from local homeowners sound like valid issues that should be examined through systematic data collection. In the absence such data, only speculation remains, and proposed regulatory changes (Options 2 and 3) should not be enacted based on speculation. I support Option 1.
POOLE, JENNIFER   March 10, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
This is a sustainable catch and an important cultural tradition - please keep it alive! Our children will thank you. Caving in to the desires of a vocal (and wealthy) few never serves anyone in the long run. Thank you for your consideration.
PETERSON, ELLEN   March 10, 2014
EASTSOUND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
For years I and my kids have occasionally gone down to the beach on Lopez to take part in the smelting with Randy OBryant. This is a traditional past time that does nothing but enrich our local community. The smelt populations are not threatened. Please keep smelting regulations the same.
TETU, DEBBIE   March 10, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
$$ should not be the reason for the change and you know that's all it is. It sure isn't the # of smelt. This is good for the community and good for the fisherman. Please keep it going. Let's not lose one more meaningful thing in life because of politics. Use wisdom, please.
BLOMBERG, GREGG   March 10, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Please do not fix what is not broken, this is a non-issue, catches have been consistent for decades. Thank you so much ! Gregg Blomberg, Lopez
DALTON, LARK   March 10, 2014
LOPEZ, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Please hear the reality of this proposed action. This is a fishery that has not exceeded the population of the fish. It is a low impact fishery and deserves to be a part of our lifestyles for generations to come. Consider these fisher families. Lark Dalton
GULLEKSON, ED   March 10, 2014
RENTON, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 2 - Reduce both commercial and recreational use

Comments:
Since we don't have good estimates of total biomass, we don't know how much impact we are having. We need to lower pressure before we cause deep damage, and since we don't know the total, we will be in crisis when we finally can measure the damage.
BLOMBERG, IRENE   March 10, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
CHOCK, STEVEN   March 10, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
CHOCK, ANNIE   March 10, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
OBRYANT, MARK   March 9, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
I'm A 53 year old who cant see the need for any change, is this just some high dollar beach front owners, Not in my front yard thing or is based on Facts. Why would you shut the whole commercial fishery down (all seven of them) when the only problem is a hand full of beach front owners thinking they own the publics water and land
ROSENKOTTER, BARBARA   March 9, 2014
DEER HARBOR, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
We need to do everything we can to sustain forage fish and specifically, surf smelt, populations. They are critical for a functioning ecosystem and the survival of so many other species. - Surf Smelt and other forage fish play a key role in the ecosystem by converting energy produced by plankton to fat needed by predatory fish (e.g., lingcod, salmon), seabirds and marine mammals. - Approximately 1/3 of forage fish populations are thought to be needed to sustain seabirds. - Forage fish populations are vulnerable and don
CLARK, TIM   March 9, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
In our area, I have seen that the tiny commercial smelt fishery provides a small amount of income and a huge amount of public benefit. It is educational. It gets kids outside and into the world of wildlife. It excites and engages, it promotes interest in our natural world, it helps to monitor the smelt stock, something that apparently has not been funded through Fish and Wildlife. Without a commercial fishery, how can you tell whether the smelt population is healthy? These very few people are providing a public service. To shut off their livelihood without evidence of decline, based only on complaints from landowners, smacks of powerful interests using the government to get a privilege. Please leave the smelt fishery alone and monitor the populations. When there is good data that shows a problem, then talk about changes.
CLEMENS, ROBERT   March 9, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
I believe Option #1 (No Change) is the logical approach. The only exception would be... to limit the current number of commercial licenses to the actual number of licenses active today. By stabilizing the number of licenses a five year study could then determine if annual yields are going up/down or holding steady. This approach would make more sense then simply deciding to have restrictions with no history to back up the decision. I believe the fishermen themselves would support fishing restrictions if research proved the stocks are being depleted. Let proven harvest yields determine what needs to be done, if anything.
TAYLOR, ALEXA   March 9, 2014
LOPEZ, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
From what I gather there is no danger to smelt populations from commercial smelt fishing. Fish and Wildlife would have to document the problem before you could get my vote for getting rid of this livelihood for a small number of people who are keeping alive an old tradition.
ZAPALAC, DIANA   March 9, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND , WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
We know our local smelt fisherman well and trust his knowledge and experience of our waters deeply. He has been commercial smelt fishing for over 20 years and shares that experience with other citizens of our island and our children, giving everyone a deep appreciation for the beauty of our islands and our fisheries. We do not want to change or lose the gift that he gives our community through his preserving of this tradition.
SCHIFTER, THEA   March 9, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Please back up any decisions for change with scientific data before you dare take away the livelihood of a number of people.
IKE, HELEN   March 9, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
After reviewing the circumstances of the proposed rule change, the fact that there is no evidence that stocks have declined or need to be protected, and that the proposal seems to be a result of beachfront home owner complaints about a Northwest tradition, I ask that Fish and Wildlife makes no changes to current smelt fishing regulations.
VANDEPUTTE, RENEE   March 9, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
DILLING, CYNTHIA   March 9, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
NELLIE, ALEX   March 9, 2014
LOPEZ, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Please continue to allow smelt fishing.
HYLTON, STEPHANIE   March 9, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
We love the smelting here on Lopez, it is a tradition which the whole community enjoys. Over the years the stock fluctuates but stays pretty much the same, no downward trend.
BIERY, BONI   March 8, 2014
SHORELINE, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
In a time when traditional salmon runs and orcas are declining, it only makes sense to stop cutting so deeply into their food supplies. Humans have lots of other food sources, they don't. If want to have salmon to eat and orcas to watch we need to curb our own appetites.
MACDONALOD, LINDSAY   March 8, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
I do not see any evidence given that smelt populations are in decline, and there are very few license holders. I don't see a danger in allowing the smelt harvest to continue unchanged.
HASBROUCK, DONNA   March 8, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Smelt fishing , in our Lopez Island Community is a historic,community wide event. It is loved by many. It is a highly educational opportunity for children and adults and the learned and experienced aspects are talked about on many a beach walk, long after the actual experience. The commercial smelt permits in the state of WA. are minor and should be preserved as a historic element of the Puget Sound. Greedy, selfish landowners should not overrule, tradition,sustainability and education. According to the SeaDoc society and the Fish and game there is no data that indicates a negative environmental impact on this fisheries. Leave the Regulation as it is. Thank you
ENTERMANN, ANDRE   March 8, 2014
LOPEZ, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
I have enjoyed the smelting scene that Randy Obryant has created on this island for years. He is so right about the kids and their exposure to the natural world through wriggling fish. Please do not close this fishery. If the data is correct that there is no decline in stocks and no proof either way then let it keep going. There are only 7 licenses out there. Please don't do this because wealthy beachfront owners are complaining about public beach disturbance. We need some free access to a food source that appears to be stable. If it becomes too popular, then maybe it will need regulation. Pick on another unsustainable industrial operation that is directly affecting the seafood you and i eat.
GREACEN, CHUENCHOM   March 8, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
WDFW's mission is "to preserve, protect and perpetuate fish, wildlife and ecosystems while providing sustainable fish and wildlife recreational and commercial opportunities." Unless there is clear scientific proof that current smelting practices in Puget Sound are not sustainable, please do not change the existing regulations. Otherwise, changes (Options 2&3) would be in violation of WDFW's mission. My husband, young children and I, residents of Lopez Island, are concerned about smelting being discontinued. We very much enjoy fresh local smelts. We greatly appreciate local fisherman Randy O'Bryant's tradition of including locals in his smelt seining activities, teaching our kids about the importance of clean water, habitat protection, conscious harvesting and generosity in the form of sharing great fresh food with the community. Smelting is part of our way of life. Direct cultural connection to our food source is the best way to ensure sustainable fishing and ecological protection.
GAUTHIER, CHARLES   March 8, 2014
BREMERTON, WA

Preferred Option:   Other - none of the above

Comments:
Until surf smelt numbers recover in Sinclair Inlet near Bremerton and Port Orchard,(This is the only surf smelting area I know or fish so am not saying this is how to set up all area's) this is what I would like to see......No commercial fishing in Sinclair Inlet at all ever (spawning grounds). I also would like to see sports bag limit reduced to 5 pounds from 10 and also think until recovered we should only fish 3 days a week. Smelt come into Sinclair Inlet in fishable numbers from Sept to February, best months October through January and are known to spawn here 12 months of the year. The smelt come in schools and spawn over a long period of time and like salmon or steelhead, if you take all the spawners from a set time frame, it leaves a gap in the coming years. The commercial problem is that they wrap up the entire school of fish and there goes another time frame of spawners. With dip nets the fish at least have some time and a chance to spawn before we catch them all.
ALDERTON, JANET   March 8, 2014
DEER HARBOR, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
Surf smelt are an essential part of the food web in Puget Sound and in the Salish Sea. Salmon depend on surf smelt. How can we promote salmon recovery and especially the recovery of federally listed Chinook salmon if we do not protect their food supply? Thank-you, Janet Alderton Orcas Island in the San Juan Archipelago in the Salish Sea
COWARD, BECKY   March 8, 2014
WINLOCK, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
Please impose a ten-year moratorium on commercial smelt fishing so that the population has time to resume its numbers. Thank you. Becky Coward
COUSINS, TERRY   March 8, 2014
PORT ORCHARD, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
I propose no change to the current fishing regulations for smelt fishing. My family has been involved in many aspects of commercial fishing for over fifty years. We have had the opportunity to continue this family tradition and are very thankful for that. My father Ronald Gunderson taught all of my brothers and sisters, my children, and my nieces and nephews to respect the fishing industry, to protect the environment, and to help the smelt species to thrive. We are careful not to set our nets on the spawning fish, we respect the property owners, and follow the regulations provided by the department. We feel the smelt population has increased in the recent years as we can demonstrate and as has been verified by the Departments own staff. I feel we all need to be educated on the drag seine smelt fishery and deal with the real issue at hand and that is the education of the trespass issues and property owner rights vs. the commercial fishery requirements (land catch adjacent to the beach)
NOREEN, KIRSTIE   March 8, 2014
FRIDAY HARBOR, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
NOREEN, KIRSTIE   March 8, 2014
FRIDAY HARBOR, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
NOREEN, DAVID   March 8, 2014
FRIDAY HARBOR, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
There are no studies, no science, no evidence and therefore no reason to change these rules other than a few whiny beachfront land owners who don't like seeing it. This is a fun sport and a low impact commercial fishery. Do not set policy just to quiet a few squeaky wheels.
LARSON, PAUL   March 8, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use
KELSO, ANDREW   March 7, 2014
GRAHAM, WA

Preferred Option:   Other - none of the above

Comments:
Close commercial harvest and expand recreational harvest. After all it is a public resource.
BENNETT, BRIAN   March 7, 2014
MONROE, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
Forage fish serve as a key link in the chain of predation that allows the larger fauna to thrive in the Puget Sound region. There are already enough stresses placed upon the ecosystem, let us do what we can to give the larger fish and marine mammals a fighting chance to thrive.
EIDE, JOSHUA   March 7, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
LILLESTOL, STEVE   March 7, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
MOODY, DORSEY   March 7, 2014
ALLYN, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
I would like to suggest the re-opening of hood canal to recreational and commercial smelt ,pile perch and striped seaperch. in another matter option 2 , no night fishing should stay on the north end of camano island. later in the fall the tide cycles are different, the daylight is shorter, the water is more dirty due to more rain, the smelt sometimes won't reveal themselves a light is how they are located, and lastly I prefer night fishing , there is less encounter with landowners. in the drag seine fishery night fishing is a must for perch fishing it is rare to see them on the beach in daylight, they go off the beach return at or after sunset. they also won't be found near a streetlight at night. make sure this night fishing rule if it is to be remains a smelt only rule, and preferably stays in island county where the "derby" drag seine fishery for smelt is located no night fishing is not a one size fits all
LILLESTOL, KARLA   March 7, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
JOHNSON, MICHAEL   March 7, 2014
EASTSOUND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 2 - Reduce both commercial and recreational use

Comments:
Joe Gaydos for President... Julie Mae for Vice President! Thanks for all that you folks do! MJ
MOODY, DORSEY   March 7, 2014
BELFAIR, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
complaints from beach owners that actually do not own the beach is not science. there is no hard science to support change or removal of a fishery that has a 125 + year history in the utsaladdy area. what does exist is a slow growth in harvest somewhere around 40% in the last 40 years? this due to development of markets by a small fishing family and a few others,The number of licenses for this fishery is in decline over the years as well. I left this fishery a dozen years or so ago went to the puget sound crab fishery. Recently my season was shortened there due to allocation adjustments. Now I have returned to the smelt fishery.In the past there have always been complaints and specious argument with land owners with this fishery as we land the catch directly on the beach. to me this whole issue seems to be political and not a science or conservation issue , alot of complaints translates to a commercial fisherman this, we are about to lose again. and sadly not for a conservation problem
BROUWER, STEVEN   March 7, 2014
LOPEZ, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
The catch records going back to the 1970's don't seem to support a rules change. There does not seem to be danger to the smelt numbers, only elimination of an historic type of fishing, enjoyed by many young and old here on Lopez. No change!
RACHEL, DAWN   March 7, 2014
BELLINVHAM, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Please keep this very small and valuable fishery alive!
NICHOLS, HENRY AND KAREN   March 7, 2014
NORDLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
It is past time to recognize and protect the importance of sustainable fisheries, especially in regard to non-apex species that play a key role in the food web.
LEBOUTILLIER, GEORGE   March 7, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Gentlepersons, If the proposal to limit the fishing had supportive facts, such as depleting the smelt stocks, or some other environmental concerns, one might understand or even be supportive of your proposal. In light of the facts presented, one has to ask, "What are you thinking?", or better yet, "What is your reasoning?" In light of lack of response to several similar inquiries, one must strenuously object to you recommended changes. The plan is not worth the effort or the expense you are incurring to do so. Please do not implement your regulations. Save the industry and livelihood of those involved.
CARTERET, BETTY   March 7, 2014
ANACORTES, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
The importance of smelt in the ecosystem for birds and larger fish is critical. The health of many of these species is threated by a number of factors. Limiting taking for human consumption is a prudent decision to provide adequate food sources. The health of the Salish Sea is threated on many fronts and this is one action we can take that will have a positive impact on helping to recover wildlife.
KING, DENNY   March 7, 2014
CASTLE ROCK, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use
BOERNER, BRAD   March 7, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Your numbers show no change so why would you want to take this life long (for some of us) experience from us? We've grown up fishing smelt and use the these fish as part of our subsistence. Please use option #1, the fish numbers haven't changed much in years and if they have it's the usual ebb and flow.... Be smart about this decision, you're affecting many many lives.
HARRIS, WENDY   March 6, 2014
BELLINGHAM WA, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
I live in Bellingham, and what is happening here is happening all over the Puget Sound. Our wintering seabird populations have plummeted. And now, DOE has determined that there is a sudden and unexplained loss in biodiversity in Bellingham Bay, possibly from multiple sources of hazardous waste, or a wood slurry that moves around. At the same time, we are redeveloping our waterfront, and there will be a significant increase in the intensity of shoreline use, with increased people, pets, recreational and commercial boating, and dense urban mixed use development, including along pocket beaches and other potential smelt spawning sites. There was no updated EIS analysis of the impacts of waterfront development on plants and animals. It is critical that we allow a greater supply of forage fish for our local species that are losing habitat and under great stress. Local government is more interested in development and profit and we need your agency to protect biodiversity.
SAEJI, CEDARBOUGH   March 6, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
I see no evidence at all (much less compelling evidence) that the fish stocks are in danger. As someone who has studied commercial fisheries extensively as part of an environmental studies degree that culminated in research on commercial fisheries, I find it easy to see this as a political gesture, not a realistic effort to protect an endangered stock of fish.
WILLEMSEN , YAHANNI   March 6, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
RATZA, JOSHUA   March 6, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
I do not see why there needs to be regulation with the smelt. The numbers being caught seem to be the same every year with the no reduction in amount caught. The equipment that is being used has not changed in over 80 years so it stands to reason that there needs to be no new regulation. Also the amount of smelt being caught is minuscule compared to the number of salmon being caught each year in the Puget Sound. Seems weird to target Smelt when there seems little or no evidence to support the need to regulate more than is already regulated. The smelting here on Lopez is also a very important learning lesson for my two young boys. It's a chance for them to put their hands into the water and touch the fish. I feel this helps strengthen the bond between them and nature, building a healthy respect for what it is and what it can do. By fostering this they will learn to be good stewards of the land, the sky, and the sea. Thank you for your time.
NURCZYK, TIMOTHY   March 6, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Smelt fishing has been an important part of my life on Lopez. I have met many people I would not have, were it not for commercial smelting. It really helps to build a sense of community here. On top of that already compelling argument, there is no scientific evidence fishing needs to be reduced.
NICHOLS, JEFFREY   March 6, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Is seems quite evident that there exists no justification for additional regulations regarding the smelt harvest.
ROBERTS, MELISSA   March 6, 2014
,

Preferred Option:   Option 2 - Reduce both commercial and recreational use

Comments:
I believe we should continue to allow commercial and recreational smelt fishing at a reduced level until a more comprehensive understanding of the Puget Sound population has been obtained. I recommend requiring a license to fish recreationally for smelt, as licenses are one way to inform fishers of the importance of stewardship, as well as a way to capture fishing effort for the species. However, I do think the importance of forage fish as a food for other species in the water outweighs their importance as a commercial or recreational catch. If data show the population to be declining at a greater rate than currently believed, or if data show the commercial and recreational catch to be greater than estimated, then I believe we should employ the precautionary approach and close both recreational and commercial fishing of the species. Thank you for your consideration of my comments.
LEWIS, WILLIAM   March 6, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Science needs to prevail. Impact needs to be proven. Why is this an issue?
WOLF, KEVIN   March 6, 2014
TENINO, WA

Preferred Option:   Other - none of the above

Comments:
Other. Completely close forever the commercial fishery of smelt. Keep open forever the sport taking of smelt. How else could you sleep at night without enacting rules such as this. If the sport fishery cannot be supported, there is absolutely no way that any private enterprise should be allowed to profit off the states resource. Private users should always come first. Kevin Wolf
VAN DE PUTTE, FAITH   March 6, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
I urge you to keep the smelt regulations the way they currently are. I am 3rd generation on Lopez Island and the beach seine for smelt in Mud Bay has both historic and contemporary importance. Randy O'Bryant who holds the license is incredibly generous with sharing the experience and fish from the site. It is a community gathering in which people show up and help with the work of hauling in the net and sorting the catch. There are usually a bunch of children who get their feet wet and their hands in the wriggling fish. This is a very special fishery which connects us to the both the past and the future. From the records that I have looked at we do not see evidence that the smelt stocks are declining. Having a population which actively participate in the fishery and because of that care about smelt is important. If there was evidence that these stocks were threatened I would say change the regs but since they can be sustainably fished please keep the regulations as they are!
VALLUZZI, ELIZABETH   March 6, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
HAHN, FLETCHER   March 6, 2014
OLYMPIA, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 2 - Reduce both commercial and recreational use

Comments:
I recommend Option 2 as an interim measure. Apparently the biomass of the surf smelt is not known. I recommend that such data be collected and followed to determine whether the biomass is increasing or decreasing.
RHODES, WIN   March 6, 2014
ORCAS, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use
RHODES, WIN   March 6, 2014
ORCAS, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use
LASBO, POVL   March 6, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
LEWIS, MARK   March 6, 2014
FRIDAY HARBOR, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
Until stocks rebuild there should be no commercial harvest. A token recreational fishery could be allowed to continue the traditional practice and keep the public interested in marine resource conservation issues.
BRIC, JOHN   March 6, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 2 - Reduce both commercial and recreational use

Comments:
make it manageable by reducing take on both sides
ARMON, CAROLINE   March 6, 2014
FRIDAY HARBOR, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 2 - Reduce both commercial and recreational use

Comments:
Recreational use should be monitored by registration or licensing.
DALY, JOHN   March 6, 2014
TUMWATER, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
I would reduce recreational harvest sufficiently to insure protection of the smelt population / resource as FIRST priority. Recreational benefit 2nd. When the prey base is gone what are the other fish gonna eat? Kelp? Thanks, j
RUBASH, BERT   March 6, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
You should prohibit all fishing until you understand the ecosystem and its trophic structure well enough so that you can manage based on knowledge and understanding of what you are managing, rather than what the public thinks.
TAYLOR, KIRMANTTAYLOR   March 6, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
I appears, from the comments I read by Randy O'Bryant, that the agency in charge is entertaining a change based upon no facts. I am convinced by Randy's cogent, thorough communication that the Dept. of Fish and Wildlife leaves itself open to serious criticism by it's omissions of catch records and other objective facts pertaining to this issue. If there is any fact based reason to visit this decision by the D of F & W, I would like to hear it. Otherwise, I believe, based upon Randy's research that nothing has occurred to alter the situation in smelt fishing in over 40 years which would precipitate a reevaluation.
KILANOWSKI, ELIZABETH   March 6, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 2 - Reduce both commercial and recreational use

Comments:
I think that all smelt fishing should end. Our salmon stocks need the forage fish and our orca and other marine mammals need the salmon.
AKOPIANTZ, KENNETH   March 6, 2014
LOPEZ, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Those of us with courage and a true understanding of the forces at play here can only with a clear conscience stand behind Option 1!!!!!
WILLALLEN, MARY   March 6, 2014
FRIDAY HARBOR, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
In the light of the great value surf smelt have for feeding other distressed populations, I believe that commercial fishing should be terminated. Our salmon have enough trouble finding food, and many species of shore birds and water fowl are dwindling in numbers. Add to those problems the fact that many communities are not safeguarding gravel shorelines where surf smelt lay their eggs, and in my opinion the smelt deserve a break. Turning them into cat food is wasteful, as cats have never naturally lived on a diet of fish. Commercial uses of smelt overlook the great value these fish have in the food chain.
MANNING, MARGARET   March 6, 2014
EASTSOUND, WASHINGTON

Preferred Option:   Option 2 - Reduce both commercial and recreational use

Comments:
It seems to me that, if orcas are endangered from lack of food, and salmon are the food they prefer, and salmon and others eat surf smelt, then it only makes sense to put a moratorium on surf smelt AND salmon fishing. It also seems a lot less expensive to reimburse the commercial fishers for their losses for a year or two moratorium than to have the extinction of any of these fish or whales. The tribes may complain but their take for personal use should be minimal and could be allowed if closely monitored. This seems like a no-brainer to me and far more productive than the burdensome regulations imposed on landowners which do little on nothing to address the problem. It would also be a good test of reduced fishing to see whether populations bounce back at all.
JENSEN, GREG   March 6, 2014
BREMERTON, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use
HAWLEY, REBECCA   March 6, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
DONATUTO, JAMIE   March 6, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 2 - Reduce both commercial and recreational use

Comments:
Surf Smelt are one of 10 species of small schooling fishes that are critical for turning energy from plankton into fat and energy to feed larger fish (like salmon and lingcod), marine birds, and marine mammals. We don't want this link in the ecosystem to collapse, so management of harvests needs to be limited.
HONEYWELL, SCOTT   March 6, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Due to the lack of study and catch statistics I believe no change is appropriate. If further data becomes avaiable we can re open the subject for discussion. This has been a wonderful family activity here on Lopez Island. To see and teach our kids how smelt fishing works is an invaluable activity. There really does not seem to be any data supporting decreasing the smelt harvest. Let's do our homework before jumping to conclusions. Thanks, Scott Honeywell
MAIER, ROBERT   March 6, 2014
EDMONDS, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
With little to no scientific information on the biomass of this important foraging species. We should ere on the side of conservation and significantly reduce the harvest levels until we have a better understanding of the health of the stock.
STRELIOFF, KARIN   March 6, 2014
OLYMPIA, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use
POMERENK, ROSS   March 6, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
RAWSON, KIT   March 6, 2014
MOUNT VERNON, WA

Preferred Option:   Other - none of the above

Comments:
It is impossible to evaluate management options without basic information on stock size and fishing pressure. Puget Sound smelt management is important because the target species is in the middle of a complex food web. Yet, the proposed management options do not mention ecosystem objectives but rather focus mainly on the commercial vs sport allocation tradeoff. Therefore, I can't support any of them. The key need now is to collect more information. Despite no state budget for this, WDFW has worked cooperatively with SeaDoc to apply private funds to initial fishery assessment. This cooperation should be commended and encouraged to continue. I would also urge the FWC to direct WDFW to find ways of requiring harvesters to report catch in both commercial and sport fisheries. This is just basic good management.
MEAGHER, CAROL   March 6, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Please leave this as it now stands. We have lost so much in the last 40 years in the historic way of life. Once a year it is nice to have a meal of fresh local caught smelt. If this keeps up future generations will only know the taste of asian farm raised toxic fish ... and will not be allowed to taste the wonderful wild fish swimming in their front yard!
CLARK, LAWRENCE   March 6, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
don,t fix it if its not broke
ENGLISH, WAYNE   March 6, 2014
CAMANO ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
Option 3 is a beginning but the smelt population is so far down that much more is needed. I cannot think of another animal which is hunted and trapped as they are trying to reproduce. This is a practice almost certain to eliminate most if not all of a species. Also prime beach sites should be protected for egg laying. Every year more of our beaches are lost to seawalls further restricting available sites for egg laying. Finally smelt should be treated as a limited resource. Recreational catch limits should be low such as a few per person. The current guideline as I understand it is a recreation catch is a 5 gallon bucket full. Far more than anyone could eat in week.
MORCHER, KATHRYN   March 6, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
There isn't a valid reason to prohibit smelt seining. The fish are not endangered as the smelt landings records from Fish and Game report. Please make no change to the smelt fishing regulations!
ARNOLD, JOEL   March 6, 2014
FRIDAY HARBOR, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Gentlemen, This is ANOTHER classic example of what is wrong with the regulation game at F&G. All of us who enjoy the waters of the Salish Sea want to be able to continue to enjoy our sportfishing AND all of us want stocks managed in such a way as to perserve the rights of future generations of fisherman. BUT please stop making un-informed, non-fact (real numbers) based decisions about quotas and limits and seasons. Just look at the absurdity of what you have down to Prawns, Halibut, and worst of all bottom fishing in the San Juan Islands. You have basically made it "un-fun" to fish. If that was your goal, congratulations. Just keep it up and we can balance the state budget by getting rid of all of you guys because we dont need you any more.......NO ONE IS FISHING. If you think for a minute that the rule changes you made around bottom fishing is protecting a species, you are an idiot. Try getting out on the water some time and drop a hook in and see what happens.
BISHOP, SANDY   March 6, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
The suggested changes do not make sense. Please leave well enough alone. Thank you - Sandy Bishop Lopez Island
PHUNG, HUNG   March 6, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
No commercial.it is one of the reason that will drive the spicies into extinct
WALLACE, HOLLIDAY   March 5, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Please allow smelt fishing to continue, thank you, Holliday Wallace
SKOTT, ALEX   March 5, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
COSGROVE, HELEN   March 5, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Being a Lopez resident for 25 years, we all look forward to the adventure of smelting with Randy and other islanders. Don't change it, please. Too often $$$'s win out over heritage, that's really sad.
LOVEJOY, HOLLY   March 5, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Smelt fishing on Lopez Island is a community event. We help Randy OBryant with his seining. All ages are welcome and kids are extra welcome. We share recipes for pickling smelt and some fresh smelt go in the freezer for seabird rescue. It doesn't get wasted. Without good biological data to show that smelt are endangered, I support Option 1.
POTTENGER, SAMUEL   March 5, 2014
LOPEZ ISL, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
To whom it may concern. I have been a resident and fisherman in the San Juan islands since 1971. I have had hands on experience helping Randy O'Bryant with his operation on Lopez and if there was ever a more valuable way of getting people young and old interested in protecting our fisheries i don't know what it would be. I remember probably 25 yrs ago meeting a man from WDFD doing smelt surveys of beaches in the San Juans. He mentioned that there were smelt spawning somewhere in the islands every month of the year. I'm a complete believer in protecting our resources and much has been gained due to good management. I have seen firsthand the incredible pre white man salmon returns and healthy smelt stocks. I feel that One of the rewards for good stewardship should be the ability of humans to to harvest the plenty. For the WDFW to go down the path of more restrictions on what seems to be a very small and already well managed fisheries is wrong and needs to be well justified. Do your Job!
MEANS, PEGGY   March 5, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND , WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
The rules should not be changed unless there is scientific evidence that the smelt populations are declining.
SHEA, TIMOTHY   March 5, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
This is such a small fishery it is quite silly you are taking the time to change the rules. Why are you wasting everyones time with this? I own a restaurant on Lopez Island and got my first taste of Mud Bay smelt last summer and was planning on serving it This upcoming summer. Hopefully we will still be able to go forward with our plans.
NORTON, KAREN   March 5, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Have seen no evidence to support a change.
JARDINE, DENNY   March 5, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
GAYDOS, JOSEPH   March 5, 2014
EASTSOUND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
I have eaten surf smelt and they are delicious. I like that we have a recreational fishery and want to see this kept open. Surf smelt are important forage fish for larger and recreationally important fish like lingcod and salmon. They also provide food for marine birds, many of which like Tufted Puffins, Common Murres and Western Grebes, are in decline. I would rather see the 100,000 pounds of smelt commercially harvested annually go to feed fish like lingcod and salmon and also feed marine birds. I don't know the economic value of the commercial smelt harvest, but I do know that WDFW data on watchable wildlife (including watching marine birds) is a $2 Billion dollar a year industry in Washington and provides 22,000 jobs. Salmon and lingcod also are more culturally important and economically important than smelt. I recommend closing the commercial smelt fishery and reducing recreational harvest.
GALLEGOS, VANESSA   March 5, 2014
LOPEZ, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
BRONSTEIN, MAXINE   March 5, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
STAIRS, BEN   March 5, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Other - none of the above

Comments:
I have been fishing for smelt at Ross Point, Port Orchard for the past 40 years. I believe a smelt license should be required for smelting as it for Dungeness crab regardless of age. I recommend a license fee of $15.00 with the 10 pound daily limit.
BRYANT, TREVOR   March 5, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
HAYWARD, DEBBIE   March 5, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
COLYAR, MICHAEL   March 5, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
This is not an endangered fishery. No impact to the beaches. Only occasional activity at any given location. Please put your efforts into solving more significant problems.
YANG, JANET   March 5, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Here on Lopez Island we have 1 licensee. He has been smelt seining since the early 1990's and the few days a year that he fishes have become important community events. Specially for the children here on the island. Many of us love to go down and help pull the nets, be part of a fishing tradition and connect with our community and with the sea. The seining days give us firsthand experience year to year with the state of the fishery in our home waters.
MORRIS, DAPHNE   March 5, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
The smelt population appears to be healthy. The fishery here on Lopez Island is a time of education, sharing, communal participation, and a good, sustainable food source.
BLOMBERG, ZACH   March 5, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
KAMINSKAS, MIKE   March 5, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
I have participated in the community smelt catch in Mud Bay under the guidance of Randy OBryant, and, I live on Mud Bay in a waterfront home. I do not wish to see this practice end. Please consider the effect of any regulations on Randy's fishing license and the community service he oversees. Thanks!
REESE, LORNA   March 5, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
MALINOFF, LIZ   March 5, 2014
LOPEZ, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
There appears to be very little valid reason and no hard data to support eliminating commercial smelt fishing. Please choose Option 1.
COWELL, CHRIS   March 5, 2014
FRIDAY HARBOR, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
KENT, AMELIA   March 4, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
SPEER, CHRISTINE   March 4, 2014
YELM, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use
HODGES, NATHAN   March 4, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
I have helped fish for smelt several times in the past years and I can honestly say that it's one of the simplest, least environmentally harmful, low-impact methods of harvesting food from the sea. To even have an option on the table that recommends closing commercial smelt fishing is ridiculous. For the few fisherman who still smelt commercially it's a way of life, a passion, and a way of belonging in their place. If you decided to make that illegal you'd be taking that away from them and their communities. I strongly encourage you to adopt Option 1 and keep this vital and simple way of life alive in our region.
MEILAK, GEORGE   March 4, 2014
LOPEZ, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
GOSS, ANN   March 4, 2014
LOPEZ, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
VEZ, JOHNNY   March 4, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use
FINNERAN, SHANE   March 4, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Having been a resident of Lopez Island for over 20 years and a concerned citizen in relation to fish stocks and other environmental issues I feel that the closing of the commercial smelt fishery in the Lopez Area overstepping. With out real proof of diminishing stocks (we have had good runs year after year) why would this be necessary? I hope this fishery continues and that you can concentrate on other, more important matters.
ROVENTE, CRYSTAL   March 4, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Without proof of an endangered smelt population, it makes no sense to set up arbitrary catch numbers which will only harm the fisherman.
O'CONNELL, ALIA   March 4, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
My husband's family from Boston will always remember seeing the smelt fishing and eating fresh fish tacos on their first and only visit to Lopez Island. For those city dwellers, it was a magical, once-in-a-lifetime experience. I hope the laws don't cause smelt fishing to become a distant memory in the local people's minds as well. Definitely "no change".
KESTER, DAVID   March 4, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
I think our state government should be making decisions on good science and not based on the prefrences of a few wealthy home owners. Are our state regulations really up for sale? If they don't like the people fishing on the public beach below there homes they should move. It appears the smelt fishing was there first.
O'BRYANT, NICOLE   March 4, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
DERZAY, ELI   March 4, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
It is my sincere hope that the WDFW consider the wide reaching negative impact of closing smelting to the public. I am an advocate for wildlife. If research shows a need to further regulate fishing to protect smelt population, I am behind changing the status quo. My understanding is the numbers do not show this to be true. Smelting where I live is an institution that educates and brings people together. Smelting parties introduce children and adults alike to the importance of protecting our oceans. People from far and wide attend these events, and believe the value can not be understated. It is a rare opportunity to bridge the gap between commercial fishing and the experience of buying ones food at the store. It is the type of institution that helps foster generations of informed conscientious citizens. It is my hope that the WDFW consider the negative implications, and insure that eliminating smelting truly serves the public and protects our environment. Thank you, Eli
MANG, INCA   March 4, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
LEVINE, RUSS   March 4, 2014
LOPEZ, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
I support option 1
HAVEL, PATRICK   March 4, 2014
ANACORTES, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
I grew up with the children of one of the seven current smelt license holders. Smelting was one of my favorite childhood memories growing up on Lopez Island. I was very pleased to share this experience with my child and I hope he can share it with his children.
CADE, STEVE   March 4, 2014
LOPEZ, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
We support option 1 - "No change"
HEINLEIN, DAVE   March 4, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
HAVEL, RACHAEL   March 4, 2014
ANACORTES, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Please research the consequences of taking action.
AIKEN, CHRIS   March 4, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
SEIFERT, HAL   March 4, 2014
LOPEZ, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
BOLLACKER, JENNIFER   March 4, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
After doing some research, it is really difficult to see any logic behind making a change to the smelt seining in the Puget Sound region.
NICHOLS, CAROL   March 4, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
It has come to my attention, that F&W is eliminating beach seining for smelt to appease the homeowners who have property where this industry is taking place. This is wrong on so many levels, not the least of which is taking away livelihoods. Beach seining has been going on for decades before people started populating desirable waterfront.
MERWIN, BLAKE   March 4, 2014
GIG HARBOR, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
Smelt are an important part of the marine ecosystem of Puget Sound. Even though a considerable amount of Chinook and Coho are predicted to return this next summer, most of these fish are of hatchery origin. If ESA listed wild Chinook and Coho are to be rehabilitated in Puget Sound it will take not only adequate spawning habitat but will also take a healthy marine food base for juvenile as well as a adult salmon and this includes baitfish such as smelt. Even though my preferred option is Option 3, I would encourage the department to look at phases. Selecting Option 2 for 2-4 years and then moving to Option 3 helps protect this habitat for the sustainable future as well as provides somewhat of an economic transition for commercial fisherman. Also consider Option 2 with limited commercial fishery open areas to create "baitfish sanctuaries".
HUNTINGTON, JEFF   March 4, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
This whole proposal is ridiculous. There is no hard evidence of declining smelt stocks. All I see is people in power from WDFW making shady handshake deals with wealthy waterfront property owners. If you can show me 3rd party, independent, empirical evidence from a 3rd party, independent study that there has been a detrimental or sudden decline in Smelt stocks over the last 50 years due to overfishing, then I will reconsider my position. Until then, however, leave the last seven commercial smelt fisherman alone. You're messing with our state's heritage and as a lifetime resident of Washington, I deeply resent that. Jeff Huntington
BATTALIA, ALAYA   March 4, 2014
LOPEZ, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Smelting in Washington state is a small scale family business. Current catch levels appear to be in balance, and the fisherman and women care that they fish sustainably. Why change a good thing?
DOYLE, JESSICA   March 4, 2014
OLGA, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
I support Option 3
SKYRIVER, RAVEN   March 4, 2014
STANWOOD, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Please do not regulate this small catch, cottage industry.
SNAPP, JODIE   March 4, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
DO NOT CHANGE THE SMELT FISHING REGULATIONS. Give the smelt fisherman credit for having an understanding as to what the size and health of the smelt fishery is. I think if the Fish and Wildlife does not have the money to acquire accurate data they should work more closely with the fisherman with licenses to get the facts. Talk to the people in the field, don't just stop something because you don't know.
BURT, VIVIAN   March 4, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
please do not change. do not take away this tradition.
VOLLAN, KARL   March 4, 2014
LOPEZ, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
FISCHER, HELMUT   March 3, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
I believe we should maintain the smelt fishery in Puget Sound as is. There are only seven license holders and no records to suggest that smelt populations are in danger of over fishing. If you take away this fishery, we would not only lose the opportunity to enjoy the eating of these delicious, locally caught, fish. We would also lose a traditional, community oriented fishery. A lot of people in my community, young and old, are able to experience together, the joy of being in touch with this part of nature on a very basic and mind expanding level. It is a wonderful educational opportunity for the kids. I think we need to return to a place of better understanding about where our food comes from and how we harvest food. Please protect our position in nature, and the ability of our young people to experience a fishery that is community oriented and extremely low impact to the environment.
HOLT, RANDY   March 3, 2014
SEATTLE, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
MIKLASKI, SHERI   March 3, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
SILKISS-HERO, CHE   March 3, 2014
PORTLAND, OR

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
I support the no change option. At this time with the information presented I feel this is the best option to secure the culture heritage of fishing in Puget Sound.
ROBERTS, JACOB   March 3, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Please don't end a way of life and a way to connect to the wonders of our wonderful sound.
JOHNSON, JEREMIAH   March 3, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
PINCOCK, AMANDA   March 3, 2014
ESCONDIDO, CA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
O'BRYANT, SHAWN   March 3, 2014
LOPEZ, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
To whom it may concern, Please rethink adding restrictions to the smelt harvest that will ultimately result in the destruction of a way of life for the few commercial license holders left in Washington State. It is bad policy to enact any sweeping reforms with no data. On your own web page you have admitted that, "Population abundance estimates are not available for smelt," which alone should be enough to derail the reform proposals. If you have no data and no money to fund a study then ask the people who are both most intimately linked to the fish population and their life cycle and are ultimately the most invested in their sustainable harvest: the fisherman. It is obvious that the biomass of smelt removed yearly from Washington State waters is minuscule compared to other fisheries. The runs remain healthy according to first hand witnesses. These new regulations will destroy a lifestyle that is both traditional, sustainable and an informative asset to local communities. Thanks.
FINNERAN, CHRISTINA   March 3, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
This seems to be a tempest in a teapot. The only reason that seems likely for the change is to mollify some wealthy waterfront homeowners.Whats next? Restricting commercial salmon and crab fishing to areas not populated with large waterfront homes, so people can have an unobstructed and private view corridor.
BURKLE, BOB   March 3, 2014
ELMA, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
The few smelt left available for harvest are far too valuable to be fished commercially, and should be first reserved as prey items for fish and wildlife species and second for sports harvest, which brings considerably more money to the economy than commercial harvest, through events like the LaConner Smelt Derby.
WOLDSETH, DANE   March 3, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use
BEHNKE, CHARLES   March 3, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Further research on the influence of both commercial and sport smelting are needed to determine whether smelt populations are in decline due to these activities. With only 7 or so commercial licenses and a relatively small population of sport smelt fishers, it is unlikely to be a major factor in smelt populations. Please carefully consider this issue before making a rash decision. I have personally seen so much good food and education come from Lopez Island Randy Obryant's commercial operation. He invites the community to participate, and children marvel over the catch and learn to respect and appreciate the marine ecosystems in a hands on way. Thank you for making the right decision, no change.
FERRUGIARO, KENNETH   March 3, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
To whom it may concern, It is really astonishing how your department can try to fast track a closure, and end a way of life, that gives much joy and meaning to people. And! without any evidence that there is a problem at all. Maybe us pesky humans should stop enjoying nature and community? Maybe we should sit at the end of a conveyor belt with our mouths open, while texting, or playing video games. I am damn tired of organizations trying to herd people like cattle or pets into brainless consumers that have no connection to nature. Or making us jump through so many hoops, or making it to expensive to enjoy the abundance that should be available to all people. Please make the right decision here. Option 1 Thanks Kenny
O'BRYANT, RAYDONIA   March 3, 2014
LOPEZ, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Please recognize that beach seining for smelt provides a rare opportunity for modern people to enjoy an old and primitive method of fishing. When smelt seining is going on it is not unusual to see a crowd of people on the beach helping and enjoying this family experience, even when it is rainy and windy. This crowd includes people of widely different ages and background, all of them enjoying and appreciating a gift of nature. Smelt seining is a rare chance for children to really get to touch and be involved in the catching and production of some of the food they eat. Over the range of several years the smelt stock seems to be holding it's own with the current regulations and is not endangered. People who are offended by the activity need to recognize that beach seining has been going on for hundreds of years. It is supreme arrogance to expect to close down a fishery for the personal convenience and wishes of a few. I urge you to leave the regulations as they are. Thank you.
GEHLING, NICHOLAS   March 3, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND , WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
MCCULLOUGH, SARAH   March 3, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Please, do not put the few remaining commercial smelt fishermen out of business just to placate some wealthy homeowners who don't like 'their' view 'disturbed'.
TURUNEN, ESA   March 3, 2014
LOPEZ, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1
HEIN, JEFF   March 3, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
The smelt fishermen are your best source of information at this time. I have a brother that has been commercial seining the smelt since the early 1990's here on Lopez Island. To summarily close this fishery because the information is lacking and it seems like some folks would be appeased is to ignore the value of the fishery and fishing itself. I have personally enjoyed being a part of his fishery here, many times been part of the beach gang. My four children have benefited greatly being part of the harvesters and gleaners of the net catch. They have a first hand look (and feel) of the many creatures that are out there in the shallows. This kind of experience is at least as good as any classroom setting could ever be. I contend that it is far better! To destroy this wonderful experience for my children, and the many, many other families that have attended over the years, would be an exercise in bureaucratic bullying--a far cry from serving the public interest and protecting us.
LITTLE, MARISA   March 2, 2014
FERNDALE, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
I do not believe that any facts have been presented that prove anything is needed to be changed that affects the welfare of the smelt population. I understand some people do not appreciate those that rely on this as their livelihood but it is not their choice. Regulations can not be made on guesses and opinions. They must be made on facts.
GIARD, JACK   March 2, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
I had a commercial smelt fishing license in the 1970's and 1980's and would like to do it again. During my reef net salmon fishing I have observed smelt going through my reef net gear since 1958, the resource seems to have not lessened during that time. I also have observed and have helped Randy O'Bryant catch smelt at my former commercial smelting site at Mud Bay over the last 2 decades and have not seen any reduction in the amount of fish available. Addendum: I used to also smelt seine near my reef net site near the mouth of Fisherman's Bay on Lopez Island.
GIARD, JACK   March 2, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
I had a commercial smelt fishing license in the 1970's and 1980's and would like to do it again. During my reef net salmon fishing I have observed smelt going through my reef net gear since 1958, the resource seems to have not lessened during that time. I also have observed and have helped Randy O'Bryant catch smelt at my former commercial smelting site at Mud Bay over the last 2 decades and have not seen any reduction in the amount of fish available.
NASON, ANDREW   March 2, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Without evidence of a significant drop in abundance of the puget sound smelt populations the only option to choose is #1. Any other choice would be political and also entirely void of any scientific process. For the methods of commercial harvesting in question fewer active permits with greater annual harvests suggests an increase in abundance. If nothing else you must recognize the value of this small fishery to your department, which receives priceless data for virtually zero effort and funding.
O'BRYANT, LEAH   March 2, 2014
LOPEZ, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
I am concerned that changes are being made with no data support indicating that there is an issue of smelt being endangered. Our community on Lopez Island greatly benefits from the small scale commercial fishing that occurs and would suffer if the changes are made. Please do not take away a special activity and life style to appease a few people. I know it seems like no one cares about this issue, but I want to let you know that we do. I am also frustrated about the failure to notify the stake holders about the input meetings with enough time in advance that they can actually attend. That was a failure and reflects very poorly on your organization. Sincerely, Leah O'Bryant
TRANI, KREG   March 2, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
I am a community member here on Lopez Island and among other things a commercial fisherman in Alaska. I have 2 young daughters and we have all had irreplaceable experiences pulling in the smelt seingn web with Randy Obriant here. The opportunity that he provides for people to get their hands and eyes on the wonders that surround us all here is unspeakably valuable. For the 15 years I have known Randy it seems pretty apparent to me that he participates in the smelt seigning not only as a way of life but primarily to connect people to the magic of their surroundings and he is very respectful to all the critters we encounter. There is no evedence that any change needs to occur to the fishery as it is conducted currently and it is my wish to see no change occur. Kreg
MACDONALD, NATHAN   March 2, 2014
KENMORE, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
I support Option 1 - No Change. As the WDFW has no data to draw scientific conclusions regarding the size of the smelt population, there is no reason to restrict the ability of the few commercial smelt fishermen to earn a living.
NASON, BARBARA   March 2, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
This is a small fishery that isn't doing any harm. I see no real argument that the smelt population is endangered. Let people do their thing.
VOROBIK, LINDA   March 2, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
I have reviewed the data available at this time, and from the information available, it appears that continued smelt fishing at the levels that are occurring now should not harm the ecosystems within the Salish Sea. It seems that more research is needed; perhaps Fish and Game could provide some funding to support research by the smelt fisherman in the same manner that occurs for the salmon fishery. (Fishermen are paid by the fish to catch and count fish, then all fish are returned to the water.)
SUMNER, ROSEAMBER   March 2, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
I live on Lopez Island, where there is one fisherman, Randy O'Bryant, who fishes for smelt. He does so in a careful caring way, inviting the community down to watch and take part. Children and the elderly , especially, really benefit from this activity, we all have a great time and it is obvious Randy follows the rules to the letter. I see no reason why this activity should be curtailed and from what information Randy has given us, and from what KWIAHT can tell us as well (a local marine science organization) the smelt are in very little danger of being overfished.
PUGERUDE, KENNETH   March 2, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
My experience with Fishing regulations dates back to the early 80's. The Abalone limit was 5 per day. My wife, daughter and I could legally harvest 15 a DAY !! ( 3 or 4 would make a good meal.) I wrote to F & W for years warning them about rapidly diminishing stocks. Finally they reduced the limit from 5 to ZERO !! They were so negligent in their actions that close to 20 years have passed and the stocks have not recovered. Don't let this happen again. We pay you a lot of money to watch over our resources.
LINNEMAN, TERI   March 2, 2014
LOPEZ, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
More studies need to be done to validate elimination of this fishing industry!
SCRANTON, LIZ   March 2, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
More research needs to be done prior to eliminating a way of life for many of us on Lopez.
LITTLE, DAVID   March 2, 2014
FERNDALE, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Don't let money talk. They have been fishing for smelt this way for hundreds of years and they have not hurt the run. Those folks complaining because they don't like the lanterns on beaches in front of there house a few weeks out of the year. Should of thought about that before they built on a public fishing beach.
MACDONALD, ERIN   March 2, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Without clear evidence of smelt population, there is no convincing basis for changing the current rules. All decisions should be evidence based, using commonly accepted scientific practices to determine population, etc. Also, from reading Fish and Wildlife information, it appears that waterfront homeowners don't like people smelting in public waters. If that is the case, and what is driving this new rule, then I especially think that no changes should be made unless/until there is true scientific evidence based information indicating the need to change current rules.
ARPS, HEATHER   March 2, 2014
LOPEZ, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
To all with concerns, My family and I have enjoyed beach fishing for smelt with friends off and on for the past 10 + years for fun. Typically, there are 10-30 people of all ages at these events. Although the weather can be inhospitable, the wait between cast and pull long and the haul small, we have so much fun. Over the years, I have seen countless numbers of people of all ages experience an 'ah ha' moment that happens when you interface with living nature. We know that this type of coming together engenders awe and respect for nature as well as a desire to protect it. We want these fisheries to remain strong and healthy. I'd like to understand your REAL concerns. Are they for the smelt, the salmon and other commercial fish who eat them, of wealthy homeowners who want their views unencumbered? Please compile usable facts related to the health of the smelt fishery, possibly with help from the fisher people who know the fish so well. Please choose option 1. Thank you, Heather
OGDEN, CAROL   March 2, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
My children were raised on Lopez Island and a neighbor who seined for smelt gave them their first view of commercial fishing. There are only 7 people in this state licensed to seine smelt so it is not like the whole world is out seining in the evenings. Let the complainers join in the fun and even taste the wonderful smelt. Don't change the law.
O'BRYANT, LARRY   March 2, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Big part of our local culture . Many young people get out and enjoy watching the fishery.
OBRYANT, RANDALL   March 2, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
without any scienctific data on the state of the smelt stocks I have to reli on the anecdotal evidence I have gathered myself . I have observed more or less stable smelt stocks in the Mud/Hunter bay area on Lopez Island . I have been keeping track of the smelt there for well over 20 years . I feel that the social loss from loosing the life style that is associated with beach seining by far out weighs any threat to the smelt stocks at this time . If any changes are to be made in the regulations , I would opt for opening Saturday to beach seining , at least in San Juan County .
TWIGG, RICHARD   March 2, 2014
LOPE, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
From what I've read no changes can yet be warranted with data currently available. This small fish fishery could even be expanded if we knew more about dynamics of distribution and abundance, locally and regionally.
WOLF, JACKIE   March 2, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
I have studied all the numbers over the years, considered all the facts in this case, and it seems to me that there should be no change at all the beach seining. People should not just be able to come in, buy land and demand that a way of life for many decades must end because it bothers them. Please make no changes in the regulations.
WILSON, CATHY   March 2, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Smelt fishing has been happening at our end of the lopez island for decades. it is a community event, and numbers of the smelt have not seemed to change much if at all over the years. please do not reduce commercial or residential beach fishing of smelt unless you have full proof that their populations are in trouble. I have not seen any data to show the smelt population in and around the salish sea is decreasing or in danger.
CURRIE, PETER   March 2, 2014
LOPEZ ISLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Please see the research on catch volumes of smelt done by Randy OBryant on Lopez island. There is simply no reason related to the health of the smelt stock to change the existing regulations.
ADAIR, ROBIN   March 1, 2014
ROCKPORT, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 2 - Reduce both commercial and recreational use

Comments:
only option 2 if the native tribes also agree to these rules
YE, CHUNFEI   March 1, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Other - none of the above

Comments:
I only heard smelt...never did smelt dipping in Puget Sound. I believe most of residents in my area are like me. Further, recreational dipping is tiny portion as compare to commercial. My recommendation: (1) Close commercial (2) Keep as it is for recreational but need to buy endorsement with extra fee (say $10 per person).
NELSON, BLAKE   February 28, 2014
TUMWATER, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
I dip and jig for smelt myself, but they need to be as stringently protected in Puget Sound as possible. Surf and Night Smelt are major keystone species in Puget Sound. We can't have a healthy Puget Sound ecosystem without healthy smelt breeding stocks. Let's do everything we can to help them continue to recover. Thank you for the opportunity to comment.
FRANKLIN, DICK   February 28, 2014
VASHON, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
closing commercial seining of this resource will affect very few people and will benefit many citizens who enjoy this fishery and at the same time allow the smelt population to grow and expand to some of the previous areas which no longer are viable fishing spots for "smelters".
HAVENS, CAROL   February 26, 2014
STANWOOD, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
We have lived on Camano near one of the prime smelt spawning beaches for over 30 years. We have seen a steady decline in the returning spawning smelt over the last 5-6 years that has raised our concerns. I hope there is a moratorium on commercial smelting long enough for the runs to recover. Once they are gone, they are gone for good.
GRAY, WADE   February 26, 2014
LONGVIEW, WA

Preferred Option:   Other - none of the above

Comments:
I would reduce commercial to 3 days at only 4 hrs a day and maintain the recreational to one saturday for 4 hrs.
JOHANSEN, BRANDON   February 26, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Other - none of the above

Comments:
I wish I had more information on this matter. Is there any peer reviewed articles that we can refrence? I feel like WDFW is just kind of jumping into this without any supporting data. You say that, "Population abundance estimates are not available for smelt. However, Puget Sound-wide commercial catch and catch rates indicate relatively high harvest over the last several years". If there are no population estimates how can you say that something needs to be done? Also, with high catch rates you would think that there are more fish. What caused this increase? There are many factors that may influence the population. Before these regulations are made there needs to be more research. Research not only on population and catch rates but also on other influencing factors. A few options they could look at is habitat and spawning ground loss. Could we implement marine protected areas in the critical locations like spawning grounds? A few case studies done say that this increases populations
FITCHETT, DOUG   February 25, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
3
CARLSON, JOE   February 25, 2014
TACOMA, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
Smelt fishing for us sport fisherman hasn't been good in years. I haven't even thought about catching them until I had a friend tell me about all the dead ones on the Cowlitz river last year. It has a trial fishery this year and No reports of any fish. Suppose once it closes they will show up. Commercial fisherman need to be regulated
ADAMS, MICHAEL   February 25, 2014
VANCOUVER, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
What you should be worried about is the seal population......
TUCKER, JOHN   February 25, 2014
PORT ANGELES, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
As smelt, as well as candlefish, herring, sandlance etc. are significant forage for salmon and rockfish, it seems inappropriate to have a commercial fishery on these and possibly even a recreational fishery. As population has increased in this region, the number of harvesters has increased to a point where I do not feel the resource can stand up to it. The decision to not intercept the food chain at it's base seems wise, and is in the best interest of all concerned. (Salmon/cutthroat/steelhead/seals/orca's etc particularly)
KLEVEF, CORY   February 25, 2014
VANCOUVER, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 2 - Reduce both commercial and recreational use

Comments:
I think its still to soon for sports or commercial to start harvesting smelt. I think we should give it 3 or 5 more years before we start thinking its ok to start harvesting smelt. Just becouse we have had 2 seasons of good returns I don't want to see the numbers drop again. The smelt are way more important for salmon, steelhead and other predators than they are for us. Thanks Cory klever
GREEN, BILL   February 25, 2014
ALLYN, WA

Preferred Option:   Other - none of the above

Comments:
I suggest you require sport fisherman who fish for smelt will be required to purchase a saltwater fishing liscense if jigging or dip netting , or a fresh water liscense in doing the same in fresh water areas
WILLIAMS, D.E.   February 25, 2014
PORT GAMBLE, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 1

Comments:
Until there is science showing the need to reduce harvest, I would like to see NO Change. Furthermore, I would like to see Hood Canal removed from the 'No fishing' zone both for smelt and other food fish. While looking at tribal web sites, I find they are able to fish 10 months of the year in the Area 12. Rather than manage by keeping areas closed, I would like to be able to fish in common with the tribes. Is their biology different from WDFW?
PRINGLE, DAVID   February 25, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use
OLSON III, LOUIS   February 25, 2014
LA CENTER, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
Commercial fishing take more fish and is harder to moniter. quotes can be exceeded quickly. test fisheries still would have to be conducted from time to time. if a person wants the he can fish for them. recreational fishing can be controlled easier. look at what closing the columbia and tributaries. in a few hours commerical netting can sink boats not only fish runs.
BELFIELD, JIM   February 25, 2014
LACONNER, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
I used to jig for smelt on the docks of LaConner back in the sixties and seventies when there were more public fishing areas, docks and even right in town behind restaurants and other businesses. The smelt were so thick that when the water was slack and clear, you could actually pick the fat one from the bunch and drag your hooks right along side the chosen one and bring him in. You used to see so many like the buffalo, most would think there was a never ending supply. Commercialism, festivals, tulips and exposure all over the Puget Sound brought the masses to the docks in numbers that were shoulder to shoulder. Like all other species in trouble due to over harvesting, the smelt have joined the demise of there lost species land or sea. The only affective way to recover a species is to stop the harvesting, period, until it can recover. It's simple as that. Unfortunately,this would be done against the will of many a sport enthusiast of course but completely necessary. Jim B.
PRINGLE, BERNIE   February 25, 2014
KIRKLNAD, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
Good Job.
CARSEY, FRANK   February 25, 2014
BREMERTON, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
We monitor smelt spawnings on our (pebble) beach. Due to the composition of the beach we can monitor individual spawnings as they happen. This season has had the fewest spawnings since we started taking data in 2007. Clearly the smelt numbers in Dyes Inlet are significantly reduced. Over at least the short term, removal of smelts should certainly be stopped in Dyes Inlet if not in the whole of the Puget Sound Waters. Frank Carsey, PhD Susan Digby, PhD
PRINGLE, SCOTT   February 25, 2014
REDMOND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use
OPITZ, TIM   February 25, 2014
FALL CITY, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
Close Commercial smelt fishing. The smelt have been over fished by the commercials. There is very few fish returning.I have not been able to get ay smelt in over 5 years on the beach. I used to be able to go down every week end in july- Sept and get 5 gallon bucket. The commercial beach fisherman are using private property to do there fishing. The smelt also feed the crab which has not been doing as well in the last few years. The smelt lay their eggs on the beach. Thank you
BEANER, STEVE   February 25, 2014
STANWOOD, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 2 - Reduce both commercial and recreational use
TURNER, CLARENCE   February 24, 2014
LAKEWOOD, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 2 - Reduce both commercial and recreational use

Comments:
Preference: Reduce Commercial, which has the greater IMPACT!!!
AURILIO, MARCO   February 24, 2014
LEAVENWORTH, WA

Preferred Option:   Other - none of the above

Comments:
Clearly Smelt and other feed fish have been declining in number due to anthropogenic causes for several decades now. This feed fish decline in turn affects the biological feeding hierarchy for which we are also experiencing decline. Fish hatcheries and fishing regulations have admirably helped slow this decline but have not addressed the overall feed fish problem. I strongly urge WA Fish and Wildlife to seriously consider a small ocean fertilization experiment to provide a plankton surge that should echo throughout the food chain in a selected area. This technology simulates the surface iron deposition from the activity of the lost whale population and could do wonders for puget sound while catalyzing the resurgence of the feeder fish population. see: https://www.whoi.edu/oceanus/feature/fertilizing-the-ocean-with-iron
NIMS, ROD   February 24, 2014
, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 2 - Reduce both commercial and recreational use

Comments:
My opinion is do not harvest the smelt commercially or recreationly,let them spawn and see if the smelt come back in 2015,if they come back in 2015 then harvest with reduced season.I would like my grandchildren to be able to at least see a smelt in the wild.Thank you
PERRY, KURT   February 24, 2014
SEDRO WOOLLEY, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
Smelt swimming around in Puget Sound are worth a billion times more than dead packaged smelt caught by a few select commercial fisherman. We have known for years that pacific surf smelt are absolutely essential to the Puget Sound food web. In this day(and knowing all our fish management mistakes of the past)why are we even considering a commercial fishery on a species of fish that is so vital to the diet of so many mammals, sea birds, and marine fish including salmon? The amount of money that goes into the economy from such a fishery is nil when compared to how much a healthy, productive Puget Sound is worth monetarily and psychologically. We need to look at the big picture here folks. Get out a piece of paper and pencil and list all the positive and negative factors of having a select commercial fishery on smelt in Puget Sound. Do any of the positives affect all citizens of WA or do they only apply to the very few commercial fishermen in this fishery? Now look look at negatives...
PERRY, KURT   February 24, 2014
SEDRO WOOLLEY, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
For the amount of money that is put back into the economy, it is not worth having a commercial fishery that could adversely affect separate populations of smelt throughout Puget Sound. Not enough is known about smelt populations to risk overfishing by a few select commercial fishermen. Why are they allowed to profit from these fishes and nobody else is? Commercial fishing is not a right of Washington citizens, it is a privilege. Smelt are vital to the Ecosystem and the benefits(for a select few only!)are nil and hugely outweighed by the possible adverse affects from a commercial fishery. Again, not enough is known and will never be known unless WA makes forage fish monitoring a priority. Right or wrong, if WDFW does decide to continue to allow a commercial fishery on smelt, it is then its obligation to the citizens of Washington and WA tribes to monitor smelt populations.
SROKE, JAMES   February 24, 2014
UNION, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 2 - Reduce both commercial and recreational use

Comments:
Option number two, to make sure that we have enough smelt for the important health of Puget Sound. If the numbers of smelt continue to increase, then perhaps we could go back and consider option number one.
GWINN, PATRICK   February 24, 2014
OLYMPIA, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use
JOHNSON, GARY   February 24, 2014
RAYMOND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 2 - Reduce both commercial and recreational use

Comments:
I don't have any confidence that "Over Harvest" of these food fish will not happen again. They stopped Commercial harvest of sardines for ten years. They opened it again and in three years time we are back to square one with the population. There is a lot of abuse by recreational fishers as well and WDFW does not have the man power to in force it. Why in the hell do we start harvesting everything before its had ample time to re-estabblish itself. Our watersheds are deprived of nutrients already because WDFW removes fish carcasses from the systems. How about leaving smelt carcasses instead of harvesting them all? I use to hear stories of taking smelt by the five gallon buckets and we wonder what happened to them. One answer "Over Harvest". How about no fishing and let's see what happens to all the populations that depend on them besides man?????? I look forward to your response! If I get one.
ALLEN, MIKE   February 24, 2014
BREMERTON, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
There is & has been a poor number of smelt & herring in the Puget Spound, due to loss of habitat & over harvesting. It would benefit all to try & boost their population and this would be a good way to do it.
ALLEN, MIKE   February 24, 2014
BREMERTON, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
There is & has been a poor number of smelt & herring in the Puget Spound, due to loss of habitat & over harvesting. It would benefit all to try & boost their population and this would be a good way to do it.
DAVIS, JOEL   February 24, 2014
BREMERTON, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
Eliminate commercial fishing so as to avoid a similar fate for smelt as the abalone!
REUDINK, ROBERT   February 24, 2014
VANCOUVER, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 2 - Reduce both commercial and recreational use

Comments:
All smelt fishing should be stopped in order to sustain animals dependent upon them for survival and survival of the species.These animals will only survive through natural abundance.
SIMONSON, TODD   February 24, 2014
CAMANO ISLAND , WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
As a resident on Camano Island, I have definately noticed the increase in commercial effort to catch smelt. The smelt, along with herring and anchovies are a critical food source for salmon, and other fish. I would fully support limiting the commercial effort in order to preserve the resource. If sport fishing needed to make some conservation efforts as well, that would be ok. Again, it is about preserving the resource so it is around for our kids and grandkids.
SAHLI, ANTON   February 24, 2014
BATTLE GROUND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 2 - Reduce both commercial and recreational use

Comments:
I think this would be better for everyone.
RENNE, ROGER   February 24, 2014
SUMNER, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 2 - Reduce both commercial and recreational use

Comments:
Thanks for the opportunity.
BOYLAN JR, JIM   February 24, 2014
SPANAWAY, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
It is time to close ALL commercial fishing for ALL finfish in WA and offshore. We have lost rockfishing in Puget Sound, salmon and steelhead are endangered and now groundfish and even shellfish are being decimated. Sport fishers spent almost 1BILLION in the last report from WDFW. A net of $424mil vs $38mil for commercial fishing revenue. It is much easier to release a fish from a barbless hook than a gillnet. Allowing commercial boats to take 109.4 MILLION POUNDS of fish each year is crazy. It is not sustainable. That number included smelt. Which was right when smelt populations nose dived and resulted in the closure. The numbers don't lie. We cannot sustain a commercial fishery of any type in WA. Sport fishing will generate 11 times the revenue. Plus harvest no where near the fish, allowing fish and smelt to recover while generating badly needed money for WA. Do the only right thing, shut down commercial harvest of smelt, and all fish and shellfish in WA waters.
GIES, RICHARD   February 24, 2014
RICHLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
Option 3 sounds the best to me for people who like to dip their own smelt, and to provide sufficient smelt as a food source for other species.
GNOSKE , KURT   February 24, 2014
PORT ORCHARD, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
preferably I would agree with option 3, I think commercial fishing destroys most all decent populations of our fish species, not just for the smelt. We have a rather large population of people who love to fish for these spectacular fish. Allowing commercial fishing for these little guys will destroy the general publics ability to get any of them, just as it pretty much has for the kelp greenling, salmon, steelhead, and every other type of fish we used to be able to fish for. I believe we as the general public could never fish any species to the possibility of extinction. However this is not so with commercial fishing. I agree with option three only with severe limitations on commercial fishing, but expansion of the general public fishing.
ABRAMS, TERRY   February 24, 2014
ANACORTES, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 3 - Close commercial fishing, reduce recreational use

Comments:
In favor of closing commercial and recreational harvest to provide more forage for ESA listed species.
HOGUE, ROBERT   February 24, 2014
RICHLAND, WA

Preferred Option:   Other - none of the above

Comments:
close commercial fishing only
BUNCH, WENDELL   February 24, 2014
OAK HARBOR, WA

Preferred Option:   Option 2 - Reduce both commercial and recreational use