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Puget Sound Recreational Crab Seasons Set


WDFW announces full slate of Puget Sound crab seasons

OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) today announced recreational crab-fishing seasons for areas of Puget Sound opening in July and August, adding to the list of waters previously set to open in June.

Stretching from the Tacoma Narrows Bridge to the Canadian border, the new list of openings completes the schedule of summer crab fisheries in Puget Sound, said Rich Childers, WDFW shellfish policy lead.

"We were still working out the details for some fisheries when we publicized the June openings last week," Childers said. "With that work completed, we can now announce crab seasons for the rest of the Sound."

In all areas of Puget Sound, recreational crabbing is scheduled Thursdays through Mondays each week (closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays) during the following periods:

  • Marine Area 13 (south Puget Sound): Open June 2 through Sept. 5. Crabbing is now under way five days a week.
  • Marine Areas 4 (Neah Bay), 5 (Sekiu), and 12 (Hood Canal): Open 6 a.m. June 16 through Sept. 5.
  • A portion of Marine Area 9 (Admiralty Inlet): Open 6 a.m. June 16 through Sept. 5 in waters north of the Hood Canal Bridge to a line connecting Foulweather Bluff to Olele Point.
  • Marine Areas 6 (eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca), 8-1 (Deception Pass to East Point), 8-2 (East Point to Possession Point), 9 (Admiralty Inlet), 10 (Seattle/Bremerton), and 11 (Tacoma/Vashon): Open July 1 through Sept. 5.  
  • Marine Area 7 South (San Juan Islands/Bellingham): Open July 15 through Sept. 30.
  • Marine Area 7 North (Gulf of Georgia): Open Aug. 13 through Sept. 30.

These seasons and details on fishing regulations, as well as an educational video on crabbing are posted on WDFW's crab fishing website at

The daily limit for crab fishers throughout Puget Sound is five Dungeness crab, males only, in hard-shell condition with a minimum carapace width of 6¼ inches. Fishers may catch six red rock crab of either sex per day, provided those crab measure at least 5 inches across.

State regulations prohibit setting or pulling shellfish gear from a vessel from one hour after official sunset to one hour before official sunrise.  All shellfish gear must be removed from the water on closed days.

Childers also reminds sport crabbers that they are required to record their harvest of Dungeness crab on their catch record cards immediately after retaining crab. Separate catch record cards are issued for the summer and winter seasons in Puget Sound.

Catch cards are not required to fish for Dungeness crab in the Columbia River or on the Washington coast.

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