Planning on hunting octopus? Not so fast

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octopus

A giant Pacific octopus

OLYMPIA — Some rule changes could come down Friday for those who hunt the iconic giant pacific octopus in the Puget Sound.

Currently, a person with a valid state fishing license can harvest one giant pacific octopus per day in most areas of the Sound. However, a Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will decide at 1 p.m. Friday whether or not to change the rules, following outcry over the hunt of a Giant Pacific Octopus near Alki Beach this winter.

The commission will decide whether or not to leave the fishing rules alone, or add additional restrictions such as the ban of harvesting at Redondo Beach and Seacrest Park Coves, or no recreational harvests at popular dive sites such as Three Tree Point, Seacrest Park Coves, Alki Bach Junk Yard and other dive sites.

The group could also decide to ban recreational harvest of the octopus without fishing gear in the Puget Sound.

A tally of more than 400 comments received by the committee show 49 percent of people would prefer to close Puget Sound to recreational fishing, Washington Fish and Wildlife said. About 14 percent of respondents said they wanted no change in the rules.

The group will also discuss changes to the waterfowl season Friday. The meeting will take place in Room 172 of the Natural Resources Building in Olympia.

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