As of December 2015, the Northwest Straits Foundation removed more than 5,600 pieces of derelict gillnets throughout the Puget Sound region. This large-scale operation to remove nets, which had been lost anywhere from a few years to decades long took over twelve years to complete. We are now focused on preventing future loss and retrieving newly lost nets as quickly as possible.
To facilitate this effort we developed the newly lost net Reporting, Response and Retrieval Program. Working closely with Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife and Puget Sound Treaty Tribes, this no-fault, no-penalty program provides commercial fishers with a reporting system to ensure that newly lost nets are located and removed before they become derelict and cause unintended harm.
Since the program’s inception in 2021, the Foundation has removed 87 newly lost nets and investigated 132 reports of lost nets. The remaining reports were either not found or determined to not be derelict fishing gear.
The Foundation urges all fishers to report lost nets within 24 hours. Tribal fishers can report through their tribal channels or to the Northwest Straits Foundation at:
(360)-733-1725 or online HERE
State fishers can report to the Northwest Straits Foundation or to WDFW at:
Include the following information in your report (please be as detailed as possible):
- Type of gear
- General Location
- Approximate Water Depth