Washington Govenor Jay Inslee has directed the Department of Ecology to put on hold any new permits for net pens after thousands of Atlantic salmon escaped into Puget Sound earlier this month from damaged pens.

It's not yet clear how many non-native Atlantic salmon escaped into Puget Sound from Canada-based Cooke Aquaculture's salmon farm off Cypress Island, not far from B.C.'s coastal waters, but officials say the pens held about 305,000 fish.

Inslee says in a statement the company must stop additional escapes, recover escaped fish and compensate those working to capture the fish after anglers were urged to catch as many of the Atlantic salmon as possible.

Canadian Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc has said officials are closely monitoring the spill given how close it happened to B.C. and are surveying the area to ensure any impacts from the incident are minimized.