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CRABBING OPENS FOR WINTER SEASON IN A NUMBER OF PUGET SOUND MARINE AREAS

posted by Mike on 09/30/2020

Winter recreational crabbing opens in several marine areas around Puget Sound beginning October 1

OLYMPIA – Several marine areas of Puget Sound will reopen for recreational crab fishing on Oct. 1, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today.

Waters reopening to sport crabbing Oct. 1 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), 9 (Admiralty Inlet), and 12 Hood Canal (North of Ayock Point).

In each open area, crabbing will be allowed seven days a week through Dec. 31.

WDFW fishery managers regularly monitor crab harvest levels against population goals and agreements. Assessments for these areas show that crabbers are able to continue harvesting into the late season this year.

For marine areas 8-1 and 8-2, WDFW resource managers’ preliminary harvest assessments indicate much of the available quota has already been taken. Once summer Catch Record Card (CRC) reporting closes on October 1, these two areas could be reconsidered for a winter season.

Sport crabbing will not reopen for winter in marine areas 10 (Seattle-Bremerton) and 11 (Vashon Island). Recreational crabbers attained the state quota in these areas this summer. Marine area 13 (South Puget Sound) also remains closed to support conservation and recovery of Dungeness crabs in this area.

Sport crabbers are reminded that setting or pulling traps from a vessel is only allowed from one hour before official sunrise through one hour after official sunset.

The daily limit in Puget Sound is five Dungeness crabs, males only, in hard-shell condition with a minimum carapace width of 6 1/4 inches. Crabbers may also keep six red rock crabs of either sex per day with a minimum carapace width of 5 inches, and six Tanner crabs of either sex with a minimum carapace of 4 1/2 inches. Additional information is available on WDFW’s website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfishing-regulations/crab.

Crab fishers must have a Puget Sound Dungeness crab endorsement to harvest Dungeness crabs from Puget Sound. All Dungeness crabs caught in the late-season recreational fishery must be recorded immediately on winter catch record cards, which are valid through Dec. 31. Winter catch record cards are free to those with crab endorsements and are available at license vendors across the state.

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