Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife FISHING RULE CHANGE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

September 12, 2003

Fishing in Hood Canal curtailed due to low oxygen levels

Action: Restrict recreational and commercial fishing in Hood Canal. Fishing for, or retention of, bottomfish, herring, smelt, octopus and squid is prohibited.

Effective Date: September 15, 2003

Species affected: Smelt, herring, all species of bottomfish, octopus and squid.

Location: Catch Record Card Area 12, which is Hood Canal south of the Hood Canal Bridge

Reason for action: Hood Canal is experiencing low levels of dissolved oxygen. These levels are sufficiently low to cause stress and perhaps mortality in fish and some species of invertebrates. Fish and octopus are showing signs of stress, leaving their normal habitats where they might be vulnerable to fishing. Additional protection from harvest is required during these conditions of stress

Other information: Fishing for salmon, trout, crab, oysters and clams is not affected by this rule change. The Department, in conjunction with the Department of Ecology, will continue to monitor water quality in the Canal. Last year, during a similar event, levels of dissolved oxygen returned to acceptable levels by late fall.

Information contact: Greg Bargmann, (360) 902-2825

Fishers must have a current Washington fishing license, appropriate to the fishery. Check the WDFW "Fishing in Washington" rules pamphlet for details on fishing seasons and regulations. Fishing rules are subject to change. Check the WDFW Fishing hotline for the latest rule information at (360) 902-2500, press 2 for recreational rules. For the Shellfish Rule Change hotline call (360)796-3215 or toll free 1-866-880-5431.

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