WDFW: Winter recreational crabbing opens in several Puget Sound marine areas Oct. 1 

By on October 1, 2021

Winter recreational crabbing opens in several Puget Sound marine areas Oct. 1 

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

The openings were approved by fishery managers after summer catch assessments by WDFW indicated sufficient crab are available for harvest during the late season.

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), 8-1 (Deception Pass, Hope Island, and Skagit Bay), 8-2 (Port Susan and Port Gardner), 9 (Admiralty Inlet), and the portion of Marine Area 12 (Hood Canal) north of Ayock Point.

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

Sport crabbing will not immediately reopen for winter in marine areas 10 (Seattle-Bremerton) and 11 (Vashon Island) due to a large portion of the state share being attained in these areas during the summer recreational fishery. Managers will re-evaluate the harvest estimates from marine areas 10 and 11 once the Catch Record Card (CRC) reporting period has closed on Oct. 1 to determine if enough quota remains to allow a winter fishery.

The portion of Marine Area 12 (Hood Canal) south of Ayock Point and Marine Area 13 will remain closed due to the ongoing conservation closure of all crab harvest. 

WDFW crab managers also remind crabbers they have until Oct. 1 to submit summer CRCs before the reporting period closes for the season. Summer CRCs can be submitted online or mailed to the address listed on the card.

The daily limit in Puget Sound is five Dungeness crab, 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.

You must have a Puget Sound Dungeness crab endorsement to harvest Dungeness crabs from Puget Sound. All Dungeness crab 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.

Winter catch reports are due to WDFW by Feb.1, 2022. For more information on Puget Sound crab catch record cards, visit WDFW’s website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/licenses/fishing/catch-record-card/dungeness.

Contact: Don Velasquez, 425-775-1311, ext. 112

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Salmon University Staff
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