Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife FISHING RULE CHANGE
WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

April 16, 2018

Coastal recreational bottomfish limit changes

Actions: Increases the daily limit for canary rockfish to two fish (from one) in marine areas 1 (Ilwaco) and 2 (Westport).

Establishes a daily limit of three flatfish (excluding halibut), such as sole, flounder or sanddab, in all coastal marine areas west of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line (marine areas 1 - 4). The new daily limit of flatfish does not count toward an angler's overall limit of nine bottomfish per day.

Effective date: Immediately

Locations and species affected: As a result of the changes listed above, daily limits for ocean bottomfish are as follows:

Marine areas 1 (Ilwaco) and 2 (Westport): Anglers can keep any combination of nine bottomfish per day including: Up to two lingcod; Up to two cabezon; and Up to seven rockfish (as many as two of which may be canary rockfish).

In addition to the daily limit of nine bottomfish, anglers may keep up to three flatfish (excluding halibut), such as sole, sanddab, and flounder, per day.

Marine Area 3 (La Push): Anglers can keep any combination of nine bottomfish per day including: Up to two lingcod; Up to two cabezon; and Up to seven rockfish (canary rockfish retention is prohibited).

In addition to the daily limit of nine bottomfish, anglers may keep up to three flatfish (excluding halibut), such as sole, sanddab, and flounder, per day.

Marine Area 4 (Neah Bay): Anglers can keep any combination of nine bottomfish per day including: Up to two lingcod; Up to one cabezon; and Up to seven rockfish (canary rockfish retention is prohibited).

In addition to the daily limit of nine bottomfish, anglers may keep up to three flatfish (excluding halibut), such as sole, sanddab, and flounder, per day.

Reason for action:

At its March meeting, the Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) approved changes to the Washington coastal recreational bottomfish fishery for 2018 as recommended by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

Canary rockfish retention was allowed in 2017 with initial allowance limited to one fish per day in marine areas 1 and 2 only. WDFW?s recommendation to increase the sublimit from one fish to two fish per angler was based on 2017 recreational catch information. Analysis showed that canary catch was well below the federally established harvest quota and sufficient to consider changes for 2018. Retention of canary rockfish in marine areas 3 and 4 remains prohibited.

WDFW also recommended, and the Council approved, a daily limit of three flatfish (excluding Pacific halibut) per day that would not be subject to the daily aggregate bottomfish limit, which would remain at nine.

Both of these changes are intended to provide some additional recreational fishing opportunity to Washington recreational anglers.

These rules conform to action taken by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC).

Information contact: Heather Reed, (360) 902-2487

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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