OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will accept public comments through May 31 on a proposal that would reduce the length of the fishing season for cabezon in Puget Sound.
Cabezon are bottomfish that inhabit rocky areas of Puget Sound. The fish can measure up to 30-inches in length and weigh up to 25 pounds.
The proposed rule would limit the season in marine areas 4-11 and 13 to May 1 through June 15. Currently anglers can fish for cabezon in Marine Area 4 year-round and in marine areas 5-11 and 13 from May 1 through Nov. 30. Retention of cabezon is closed year-round in Hood Canal (Marine Area 12).
To review and comment on the proposed change, visit WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/cabezon/.
Earlier this year, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission voted to reduce the catch limit of cabezon to one fish a day in marine areas 4-11 and 13 and prohibit the retention of cabezon measuring less than 18 inches in length.
In addition, commission asked the department to seek additional public input on restricting the cabezon season to May 1 through June 15, with plans to conduct further review and discussion.
In recent years, WDFW has implemented restrictions on fishing that have provided greater protection for bottomfish.
The public also will have an opportunity to provide testimony on the proposed change during the commission’s June 7-8 meeting in Olympia. The commission may consider taking action at that meeting. Check the commission’s website (http://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/) for the specific day and time.