Commercial Puget Sound Smelt Fishery


UPDATE:  The 2021 Commercial Puget Sound Surf Smelt Fishery is OPEN.  The fishery will be closed by Emergency regulation when the 60,000 pound quota is reached.

General Information:

  • Use the map on this page to find open areas/dates/times.
  • Make your quick reports by 2 p.m. the day after landing to or 844-611-3822.
  • The fishery will close by emergency regulation when the 60,000-pound quota is reached.
  • Questions about Surf Smelt Fisheries in Puget Sound? Contact Patrick Biondo at
  • If you are looking for information about Eulachon (Columbia River Smelt) in the Lower Columbia or Cowlitz Rivers, please contact the Region 5 Office at or 360-696-6211


A commercial fishery for smelt is allowed in Puget Sound waters using drag (beach) seine gear with area, timing, and gear restrictions.

Regulations on commercial fishing for smelt in Puget Sound include:

  • An annual quota of 60,000 pounds.
  • Openings from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday during seasonal openings in each area.

For more information, see:

  • 220-356-050 Puget Sound forage fish commercial fisheries—General provisions
  • 220-356-060 Puget Sound herring, anchovy and smelt commercial fisheries—Drag seine
  • 220-356-070 Puget Sound herring and anchovy commercial fisheries—Purse seine
  • 220-356-080 Puget Sound herring and anchovy commercial fisheries—Dip bag net
  • 220-356-190 Puget Sound smelt commercial fishery—Seasons
  • 220-356-200 Puget Sound smelt commercial fishery—Weekly periods

If needed, an emergency regulation will be enacted when the annual commercial fishery quota is expected to be reached.

2021 Landings

  • Annual quota: 60,000 pounds
  • Total landed:  25,177 pounds
  • % of Quota: 42%
Fishing Time Frame Pounds
January 50
February - March 0
April 132
May 0
June 160
July 7,562
August 2nd - 5th 2,175
August 9th - 12th 450
August 16th - 19th 4,480
August 23rd - 26th 838
August 30th - September 2nd 3,602
September 6th - 9th 950
September 13th - 16th  0
September 20th - 23rd 0
September 27th - 30th 0
October 4th - 7th 2,130
October 11th - 14th 2,698

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