Kendall Henry, WDFW
Puget Sound Commercial Salmon Manager
360-902-2949 FAX

Quick Reporting Information
Quick Report Puget Sound commercial catch data to one of the following:

FAX transmission to:
(360) 902-2949

E-mail to:

Telephone to:


Download Statewide
Quick Report Form
[ Excel file ] [ PDF ]
Commercial Licensing Applications and Fees


Puget Sound Commercial Salmon Regulations and Information

Reef Net Fishing

Click on image to enlarge

© 1966 Pacific Fisherman

The term selective fishing has been used to describe any of several fishing gears and management objectives, yet at its most basic definition a selective fishery is one in which bycatch is avoided altogether or able to be released alive and unharmed. As the Department of Fish & Wildlife has experimented with selective commercial fishing gear and moved toward selective fishing practices in recreational fishing, reef nets stand out as the original and still the best in selective fishing.

Practiced by the Indians of the Puget Sound region using materials gathered locally, reef nets are unique to the area. Modern materials and hydraulics have improved efficiency but the basic methods remain the same. Reef nets do not gill or surround salmon with a net. Rather they count on natural and manmade structures to lead the salmon into a shallow laid net which is then lifted and the fish spilled into holding pens.

Minimal handling and stress coupled with the ability to keep the fish alive make reef nets the most selective fishing gear available. Reef nets are fixed to one location and only catch migrating adult salmon that swim through their gear. For years reef nets have released non-target salmon species when management needs dictate. Mortality and bycatch are lower than any other fishing gear. Today reef nets are used in northern Puget Sound, targeting sockeye and pink salmon during summer months and coho and chum salmon during the fall.


Click on image to enlarge Click on image to enlarge Click on image to enlarge
View of lead net used to guide salmon into gear Reef netter in the tower looking for fish Reef netter in the tower (full boat view)