March 28, 2017 — Federal biologists have removed a species of Puget Sound rockfish from the endangered species list.
NOAA Fisheries said Monday that last week’s decision comes after a recent study found Puget Sound/Georgia Basin canary rockfish are not genetically different from other canary rockfish found along the West Coast.
Researchers conducted genetic testing on fin clips collected from rockfish caught by anglers. The agency says an analysis found that Puget Sound canary rockfish aren’t genetically distinct from coastal populations.
The federal agency listed the long-living bottom dweller as threatened in 2010. Two other species – yelloweye rockfish and boccaccio – listed at that time are still protected under the Endangered Species Act.
The move also doesn’t change state regulations. Recreational anglers currently aren’t allowed to target or keep any rockfish species in Puget Sound.