By Wayne Kruse
The state Fish and Wildlife Commission will consider proposed changes to recreational and commercial smelt fishing regulations in Puget Sound during a public meeting June 13-14 in Olympia. An agenda for the meeting is available on the commission website.
Smelt are a valuable food source for a variety of species in Puget Sound, and commercial catch rates indicate a relatively high harvest over the past several years. That has prompted the state to consider taking steps to increase protection for smelt.
— No change.
— Reduce both commercial and recreational use.
— Close commercial fishing, and reduce recreational use.
Recreational reductions for the latter two options would close recreational smelt fishing overnight except for the use of jig gear, which would be allowed 24/7. Dip nets would be allowed for recreational use from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday through Tuesday.