600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091
August 15, 2014
Contact: Craig Burley, (360) 902-2784
New Puget Sound smelt fishing regulations now in effect
OLYMPIA - State fisheries managers are reminding people of new recreational and commercial smelt fishing regulations now in effect for Puget Sound.
The new rules, adopted by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission in June, provide greater protection for smelt, which serve as a food source for a variety of species in Puget Sound.
The commission, a citizen panel that sets policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, adopted new regulations that:
- Close nighttime recreational dip net fishing. Recreational dip net fishing will be allowed from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday through Tuesday. Jig gear can continue to be used seven days per week, 24 hours per day.
- Add a new 60,000-pound annual quota for the Puget Sound commercial smelt fishery.
- Reduce the commercial fishery by one day each week, allowing commercial fishing from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday during seasonal openings in each area.
- Close inactive commercial smelt fisheries, including dip bag and purse seine.
For more details on the regulations, visit the department's webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/smelt/