Input sought on plan to shorten Puget Sound cabezon season

Staff reportApril 28, 2013 

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife is accepting comments through May 31 on a proposal that would reduce the length of the fishing season for cabezon in Puget Sound.

Cabezon are bottomfish that inhabit rocky areas of Puget Sound. The fish can measure up to 30 inches and weigh up to 25 pounds.

The proposed rule would limit the season in marine areas 4-11 and 13 from May 1-June 15.

Currently, anglers can fish for cabezon year-round in Marine Area 4 and from May 1-Nov. 30 in Marine Areas 5-11 and 13.

Retention of cabezon is closed year-round in Hood Canal (Marine Area 12).

Earlier this year, the state Fish and Wildlife Commission voted to reduce the catch limit of cabezon to one fish a day in Marine Areas 4-11 and 13 and prohibit the retention of cabezon measuring less than 18 inches.

In addition, commissioners asked department staffers to seek additional public input on restricting the season to May 1-June 15, with plans to conduct further review and discussion.

In recent years, the department has put restrictions on fishing that have provided greater protection for bottomfish.

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