WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091
April 12, 2000Tighter limits on
lingcod, rockfish now in effect
Contact: Greg Bargmann, (360) 902-2825
OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish
and Wildlife (WDFW) is reminding anglers that new regulations took
effect January 1 reducing the number of lingcod and certain species of
rockfish they can have in their possession in coastal waters.
Under new regulations approved late last year by
the Pacific Fishery Management Council, the daily bag limit for
lingcod is now one fish measuring at least 24 inches. The previous
limit was two lingcod per day.
New limits are also in effect for yelloweye
rockfish and canary rockfish. Although the overall catch limit for
rockfish is still ten per day, anglers are restricted to two
yelloweyes and two canary rockfish in their possession. The two
species, commonly called "red snapper" but actually members
of the rockfish family, are distinguished by their orange and red
The new bag limits are now in effect in Marine
Areas 1-4 from the Columbia River to the Seiku River on the Strait of
Juan de Fuca.
Greg Bargmann, WDFW marine fish manager, said
the new regulations are designed to help reverse the decline of
lingcod, yelloweye and canary rockfish populations detected in recent
"The changes in recreational harvest are
part of a wide-ranging effort to recover these species," Bargmann
said. "We've heard from a number of anglers who are generally
aware of the new regulations, but aren't exactly sure when they take
effect. We need to get the word out that the new regulations are in
effect right now."
For lingcod, fishing seasons have been reduced
along with the bag limits. In Marine Areas 1-3, this year's season is
open from April 1 through October 31 seven days a week. Last year it
was open year round.
For Marine Area 4, the lingcod season will be
open seven days a week from April 16 through October 31. The closure
date is a month earlier than last year.
In Puget Sound east of the Seiku River,
hook-and-line fishing for lingcod remains closed until May 1, when a
one-fish-per-day limit will be in effect. Allowable
"keepers" must measure at least 26 inches but no more than
40 inches. The spearfishing season opens May 21 in Puget Sound east of
the Seiku River, where the bag limit for lingcod is one fish of any
size. A limit of one rockfish per day will also be in effect as of May
1 for all recreational fisheries in Puget Sound east of the Seiku
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