Puget Sound Anglers-North Olympic Peninsula chapter A full Dungeness crab pot awaits crabbers during a run to check pots on the Strait of Juan de Fuca last summer.

Puget Sound Anglers-North Olympic Peninsula chapter A full Dungeness crab pot awaits crabbers during a run to check pots on the Strait of Juan de Fuca last summer.

OUTDOORS: Crab season announced, lecture on abundance Tuesday

July 1 through Labor Day

Dungeness crabs provide the opportunity to live off the fat of the sea when the summer recreational season begins July 1.

“Crabbing seasons should be similar to recent years around most of Puget Sound,” said Don Velasquez, fish and crustacean biologist. “Still, some areas with continued low abundance will see limited seasons or remain closed this year to promote Dungeness population recovery.”

This summer’s crab seasons are scheduled to open as follows:

• Marine Areas: 4 (Neah Bay east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line), 5 (Sekiu), 6 (Strait of Juan de Fuca-East) and 9 (Port Gamble and Admiralty Inlet): Open July 1 through Sept. 5, Thursdays through Mondays.

• Marine Area 12 (Hood Canal): north of a line projected true east from Ayock Point: Open July 1 through Sept. 5, Thursdays through Mondays.

The following areas will remain closed this season:

Marine Area 12 south of a line projected true east from Ayock Point will be closed this season to allow weak Dungeness crab populations to increase.

Summer seasons for the upcoming fishery are also posted on WDFW’s crab-fishing webpage.

The daily limit throughout Puget Sound is five Dungeness crab, males only, in hard-shell condition with a minimum carapace width of 6 1/4 inches.

Crabbers also can keep six red rock crab of either sex per day in open areas, provided the crab are in hard-shell condition and measure at least 5 inches carapace width.

Crab fishers may not set or pull shellfish gear from a vessel from one hour after official sunset to one hour before official sunrise. All traps must be out of the water on days when the fishery is closed.

Catch record card information is crucial to managing Dungeness crab in Puget Sound. Completed summer catch record cards, regardless of whether any crab are caught, must be submitted to Fish and Wildlife by Oct. 1.

Crab lecture Tuesday

The Port Townsend Marine Science Center will offer a free online zoom presentation titled Dungeness Crab in the Salish Sea: A Case Study in Collaborative Research for a Sustainable Fishing Future, at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

In recent years, the Pacific Northwest Crab Research Group formed to investigate questions surrounding this important species and to better connect science to fisheries management.

This talk will cover the life history of Dungeness crab, the management of the Dungeness crab fishery, and the goals and mission of the PNW Crab Research Group, before discussing one of the group’s major research projects, the Larval Crab Monitoring Network and the implications of new information emerging from this collaborative effort.

Featured speakers are Katelyn Bosley, Puget Sound crustacean biologist with Fish and Wildlife; Elizabeth Tobin, Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe Shellfish program manager; and Emily Buckner, the PNW Crab Research Group program coordinator.

To register for the Zoom meeting, visit tinyurl.com/PDN-CrabLecture22.

The next morning, Buckner and Marine Science Center Aquarium Curator Ali Redman will offer a live demonstration of larval crab monitoring at the Fort Worden Pier from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Registration for the in-person demo is available at https://bit.ly/CrabMonitoring.

Quilcene beaches closed

The state Department of Health has closed Quilcene and Dabob Bay beaches to recreational shellfish harvest after recent shellfish samples taken from Quilcene Bay contained elevated levels of the marine biotoxin that causes Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning (DSP).

Danger signs have been posted at public access points warning people not to consume shellfish from these areas. Other Hood Canal waters outside of Quilcene Bay and Dabob Bay remain under a Vibrio warning to cook all shellfish to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Farenheit for 15 seconds.

Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning (DSP) can cause gastrointestinal illness. Illness is caused by eating shellfish contaminated with toxins from the naturally occurring marine plankton Dinophysis. The toxin isn’t destroyed by cooking or freezing.

Find your Trail

The YMCA of Sequim will offer its first Find Your Trail Summer Outdoor Leadership program, a free opportunity for youth ages 12-17.

In this nine-week program, youth will learn about hiking essentials, wayfinding and wilderness first aid.

The geology, geography and marine environments on the North Olympic Peninsula also will be covered.

There will be weekly hikes that will introduce youth to local resources. Hiking essentials, including day packs and clothing, will also be provided free.

Program dates are June 28 through Aug. 26 with meetings Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The program is sponsored by a grant from the Association of Washington Cities in partnership with the city of Sequim.

To sign up, call 360-477-4381, ext. 390, or email [email protected] olympicpeninsulaymca.org.

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Sports reporter/columnist Michael Carman can be contacted at [email protected] peninsuladailynews.com.

Four Olympic Peninsula campgrounds have been ranked on the list of Best places to camp in the Northwest by camping app The Dyrt. Kalaloch was the top-ranked campground.

Four Olympic Peninsula campgrounds have been ranked on the list of Best places to camp in the Northwest by camping app The Dyrt. Kalaloch was the top-ranked campground.

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