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

November 13, 2003

Coastal Bottomfish Fishing to Close Beyond 3 miles Retention of Canary Rockfish Prohibited

Action: Recreational bottomfish fishing will be closed outside of three miles in Catch Record Areas 1 through 4 for the remainder of the calendar year. The retention of canary rockfish will be prohibited in Catch record areas 1 through 4.

Effective date: November 13, 2003

Species affected: Canary rockfish in Catch Record Areas 1 through 4 and all species of bottomfish beyond 3 miles from shore in Catch Record Areas 1 through 4.

Location: Catch Record Areas 1 through 4

Reason for action: The coastwide quotas for both lingcod and canary rockfish have been exceeded.

Other information: Both lingcod and canary rockfish have been declared overfished species by the National Marine Fisheries Service. The primary reason the quotas for lingcod and canary rockfish were exceeded was larger than anticipated catch in the California recreational fishery. However, both species are managed under coastwide quotas, and federal requirements to constrain overfishing necessitate action at the federal level and by all three coastal states. A federal rule is being promulgated to close recreational bottomfishing in all federal waters (outside of 3 miles). Actions will also be taken to close commercial fishing inside of 200 fathoms.

Information contact: Brian Culver or Michele Robinson (360) 586-6129

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.