Hood Canal fishing closure made permanent by state commission
Hood Canal, WA - All sport and nontribal commercial fishing in Hood Canal, except for salmon, is now closed until low oxygen levels in the scenic waterway improve.
As expected, the state Fish and Wildlife Commission voted unanimously on Saturday to replace two years of emergency fishing closures with a permanent closure.
The ban extends from the Hood Canal floating bridge south.
``Rather than doing (more 120-day) emergency rule changes, the commission decided to enact a permanent closure as long as the conditions persisted, and reevaluate as conditions change and things improve,'' said Doug Williams, spokesman for the commission.
The closure prohibits fishing for bottomfish, smelt, herring, anchovy, squid, octopus and sea cucumbers. Rockfish have been off-limits under a previous permanent action.
Fishing for salmon and the taking of shellfish, including shrimp, crabs, clams, oysters and mussels, is still allowed.
Salmon tend to stay near the surface, and shellfish don't seem to be as susceptible to low-oxygen conditions.
Native Americans are not bound by the closure, but tribal fishermen don't currently net in Hood Canal for any fish other than salmon.
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