OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) today announced Puget Sound summer crab-fishing seasons, which get underway June 16 with an opening in two marine areas.
Marine areas 4 (Neah Bay – East of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line) and 5 (Sekiu) open for sport crabbing Saturday, June 16. Many other areas of the Sound will open for recreational crab fishing on June 30, although two areas around the San Juan Islands open later in the summer to protect molting crab.
Summer seasons for the upcoming fishery are posted on WDFW’s crab-fishing website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/crab/. The website includes details on fishing regulations, as well as an educational video on crabbing.
WDFW continues to monitor crab abundance throughout Puget Sound and manages crab fisheries to maintain healthy populations, said Bob Sizemore, shellfish policy lead for WDFW.
“Crabbing should be good again this year in several areas of Puget Sound,” he said.
Recreational crabbing will be open Thursdays through Mondays each week. Crabbing is closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays each week, which means crabbers should be aware that no sport crab fisheries will be open Wednesday, July 4. All shellfish gear must be removed from the water on closed days.
Crab seasons are scheduled as follows:
- Marine areas 4 (Neah Bay east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line), and 5 (Sekiu): Open June 16 through Sept. 3.
- Marine areas 6 (East Juan de Fuca Strait), 8-1 (Deception Pass), 8-2 (Port Susan/Everett), 9 (Port Gamble and Admiralty Inlet), 10 (Seattle/Bremerton), and 12 (Hood Canal): Open June 30 through Sept. 3.
- Marine Area 7 South (San Juan Islands/Bellingham): Open July 14 through Sept. 30.
- Marine Area 7 North (Gulf of Georgia): Open Aug. 16 through Sept. 30.
The following areas are closed this season:
- Marine areas 11 (Tacoma-Vashon Island) and 13 (south Puget Sound): These areas are closed to promote recovery of Dungeness crab populations in those areas. WDFW provided more information about the closure in a previous news release available online athttps://wdfw.wa.gov/news/may1018a/.
The daily limit throughout Puget Sound is five Dungeness crab, males only, in hard-shell condition with a minimum carapace width of 6¼ inches. Fishers may catch six red rock crab of either sex per day, provided those crab measure at least 5 inches across.
Crab fishers may not set or pull shellfish gear from a vessel from one hour after official sunset to one hour before official sunrise.
Puget Sound crabbers are required to record their harvest of Dungeness crab on their catch record cards immediately after retaining crab. Separate catch record cards are issued for the summer and winter seasons.
Catch record cards are not required to fish for Dungeness crab in the Columbia River or on the Washington coast, where crabbing is open year-round.