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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

April 23, 2013 at 9:10 AM

Cabezon fishing seasons could be reduced soon

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State Fish and Wildlife is looking at reducing the cabezon fishing season in Puget Sound, and is now accepting public comment on this issue through May 31.

A cabezon won’t win any beauty contest, but their taste when cooked will make anyone forget about their ugliness. They are part of the bottomfish family, and can grow up to 30-inches long and weigh up to 25 pounds.

The proposed rule in a state Fish and Wildlife news release says they would limit the season in Marine Catch Areas 4 to 11 and 13 (from Neah Bay in the Strait of Juan de Fuca into southern Puget Sound) from May 1 through June 15.

Right now fishing is open in Marine Area 4 year-round, and in others areas from May 1 through Nov. 30. Cabezon is closed year-round in Hood Canal (Marine Area 12).

Recently the daily catch limit was reduced to one cabezon in Marine Areas 4 to 11 and 13, and fish measuring less than 18 inches weren’t allowed to be kept.

The added restrictions were designed to improve protection of bottomfish species including some that have been listed on the Endangered Species Act.
To review and comment on the proposed change, visit state Fish and Wildlife’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/cabezon/.

The public will be able to comment on this issue during a state Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting on June 7-8 in Olympia. The commission may make a decision at that meeting. Check the fisheries commission’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/) for specifics.

(Photo courtesy of Alan Berner of a cabezon at the Seattle Aquarium)

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