New Puget Sound smelt fishing regulations in effect

Anglers are reminded there are new recreational and commercial smelt fishing regulations in effect for Puget Sound.

The new rules, adopted by the state Fish and Wildlife Commission in June, will give more protection to smelt populations, which are a key food source for a variety of species in Puget Sound, according to a agency news release.

The new regulations:

• Close nighttime recreational dip net fishing. Recreational dip net fishing will be allowed from 6 a.m.-10 p.m. Fridays-Tuesdays. Jig gear can continue to be used seven days a week, 24 hours a day.

• Add a new 60,000-pound annual quota for the Puget Sound commercial smelt fishery.

• Reduce the commercial fishery by one day each week, allowing commercial fishing from 6 a.m.-10 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays during seasonal openings in each area.

• Close inactive commercial smelt fisheries, including dip bag and purse seine.

For more details on the regulations, visit the department’s webpage at wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/smelt.