OLYMPIA — The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Friday announced the Puget Sound summer crab fishing season will get underway Thursday with openings in several marine areas.
Crab seasons are scheduled to open as follows:
• Marine Areas 4 (Neah Bay east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line), 5 (Sekiu), 6 (East Juan de Fuca Strait), 8-1 (Deception Pass), 8-2 (Port Susan/Everett), and 9 (Port Gamble and Admiralty Inlet): Open Thursday to Sept. 7, Thursday through Monday.
• Marine Area 7 South (San Juan Islands/Bellingham): Open July 16 to Sept. 28, Thursday-Monday.
• Marine Area 7 North (Gulf of Georgia): Open Aug. 13 to Sept. 28, Thursday through Monday
• Marine Area 10 (Seattle/Bremerton): Open July 12 to Sept. 7. Sunday/Monday only.
• Marine Area 11 (Tacoma-Vashon Island): Open July 12 to Sept. 7. Sunday/Monday only.
• Marine Area 12 (Hood Canal) north of a line projected true east from Ayock Point: Open Thursday to Sept. 7, Thursday through Monday.
The following areas are closed this season:
• Marine Area 12 (Hood Canal) south of a line projected true east from Ayock Point: This area is closed to promote recovery of the Dungeness crab population in south Hood Canal.
• Marine Area 13 (South Puget Sound): This area continues to be closed to promote recovery of Dungeness crab populations.
“WDFW continues to monitor crab abundance throughout Puget Sound and manages crab fisheries to maintain healthy populations,” said Katelyn Bosley, lead crustacean biologist for WDFW.
“Dungeness crab populations have shown a moderate increase in parts of central Puget Sound as compared to the past few years,” said Bosley. “We are even able to offer a limited recreational fishery in Marine Area 11 that will provide some opportunity for crabbers that have not been able to fish this area the last two years,” she added.
The subareas of Marine area 7 will open later in the summer to protect molting crab. Due to modest crab abundance and high expected crab fishing, marine areas 10 and 11 will have a limited season starting July 12. Marine areas 10 and 11 will be open only on Sunday and Monday each week. All shellfish gear must be removed from the water on closed days.
Marine Area 13 will remain closed in 2020 due to low abundance of crab. Summer seasons for the upcoming fishery are posted on WDFW’s crab-fishing website. Check the regulations before heading out www.wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfishing-regulations.
The daily limit throughout Puget Sound is five Dungeness crab, males only, in hard-shell condition with a minimum carapace width of 6¼ inches. Crabbers may also 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.
Crabbers may not set or pull shellfish gear from a vessel from one hour after official sunset to one hour before official sunrise.
Discovery Bay closed
OLYMPIA — Recreational shrimpers realized high catch rates in the Discovery Bay district this year, reaching annual quotas in just two days. As a result, the State Department of Fish and Wildlife announced Friday that shrimping in this area will close for the season.
The closed area includes a portion of Marine Area 6 located south of a line from McCurdy Point on the Quimper Peninsula to the northern tip of Protection Island, then to Rocky Point on the Miller Peninsula.
For shrimp fishers looking to harvest spot shrimp, several other areas remain open through at least the end of June. These include:
• Marine Area 4: Open daily during daylight hours until the recreational spot shrimp season closes when the quota is met.
• Marine Area 5 (western Strait of Juan de Fuca): Open daily during daylight hours until the recreational spot shrimp season closes when the quota is met.
• Marine Area 6 (Port Angeles Harbor, eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca, excluding the Discovery Bay Shrimp District): Open Thursdays-Sundays each week until quota is met. Daylight hours.
• Marine Area 7 South (Iceberg Point, Point Colville, Biz Point, Salmon Bank): Open Sunday and Tuesday. Daylight hours.
• Marine Area 7 East (northern Rosario Strait, Bellingham Bay, Sucia and Matia islands, Strait of Georgia): Open Sunday and Tuesday. Daylight hours.
• Marine Area 7 West (San Juan Channel, Speiden Channel, Stuart and Waldron islands): Open Thursdays-Sundays each week until quota is met. Daylight hours.
• Marine Area 12 (Hood Canal Shrimp District): Open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday and July 15 and July 28.
The daily limit is 10 pounds of all shrimp with a maximum of 80 spot shrimp for all areas except Marine Area 6 (outside Discovery Bay). The daily limit in Marine Area 6 (outside Discovery Bay) is 10 pounds of shrimp with a maximum of 120 spot shrimp.
A valid 2020-21 combination license, shellfish license, or Fish Washington license is required to participate in the fishery.
WDFW managers remind shrimpers that traps can be set one hour before official sunrise during any open period in the marine areas without specified harvest hours. These include Marine Areas 4, 5, 6 (outside Discovery Bay), 7 East, 7 South, and 7 West.
The pots must be removed from the water in these same areas by one hour after sunset at the end of an open period.
More information on recreational shrimp seasons, and a description of the marine areas, is available on WDFW’s recreational shrimp fishing website at www.wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfishing-regulations/shrimp.
Shrimpers are urged to check regulations before heading out as they can change depending on conditions.