Winter Crabbing Opens In Many Puget Sound Areas
Some areas of Puget Sound reopening for late-season recreational crab fishing
OLYMPIA – Some areas of Puget Sound will reopen for recreational crab fishing on Oct. 6, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today.
The late-season crab openings were approved by fishery managers after summer catch assessments by WDFW indicated additional crab are available for harvest, said Don Velasquez, shellfish manager for the department.
Areas opening to sport crabbing on Oct. 6 include marine areas 4 (Neah Bay, east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line), 5 (Sekiu), 6 (eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca), 7 (San Juan Islands), 8-1 (Deception Pass, Hope Island, and Skagit Bay), 8-2 (Port Susan and Port Gardiner), and 9 (Admiralty Inlet), except for waters south of a line from Olele Point to Foulweather Bluff.
In each of these areas, crabbing will be allowed seven days a week through Dec. 31.
Sport crabbing will be closed in marine areas 10 (Seattle Bremerton), 11 (Vashon Island), 12 (Hood Canal), 13 (South Puget Sound), and in the remainder of Marine Area 9.
Maps and descriptions of the two sections of Marine Area 9 are on the WDFW website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/crab/area.php?id=16.
The daily catch limit in Puget Sound is five Dungeness crab, males only, in hard-shell condition with a minimum carapace width of 6¼ inches. In addition, fishers may catch six red rock crab of either sex per day, provided those crab measure at least 5 inches across. Additional information is available on WDFW’s website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/crab/.
All Dungeness crab caught in the late-season fishery must be recorded immediately on winter catch cards, which are valid through Dec. 31. Winter cards are free to those with crab endorsements and are available at license vendors across the state.
Winter crab catch reports are due to WDFW by Feb. 1, 2019. For more information on catch record cards, visit WDFW’s website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/crab/crc.html.