Commercial Puget Sound Smelt Fishery

Map of commercial smelt seasons in Puget Sound
Photo by WDFW

UPDATE:  The 2023 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 Emily Seubert 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.

2023 Landings

  • Annual quota: 60,000 pounds
  • Total landed:  30,662 pounds
  • % of Quota: 51.1
Fishing Time Frame Pounds
January 2023 0
February 2023 0
March 2023 0
April 2023 0
May 2023 0
June 2023 0
July 2023 9465
August 2023 12924
September 2023 5098
October 2023 3175

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