OLYMPIA – Several marine areas of Puget Sound will reopen for recreational crab fishing on Oct. 7, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today.
The openings were approved by fishery managers after summer catch assessments by WDFW indicated additional crab are available for harvest during the late season, said Don Velasquez, shellfish manager for the department.
Waters reopening to sport crabbing Oct. 7 at 8 a.m. 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 Gardiner), and 9 (Admiralty Inlet), except for waters south of a line from Olele Point to Foulweather Bluff.
In each area, crabbing will be allowed seven days a week through Dec. 31.
Sport crabbing will not reopen in marine areas 10 (Seattle Bremerton), 11 (Vashon Island), 12 (Hood Canal), and 13 (South Puget Sound).
The daily limit in Puget Sound is five Dungeness crab, males only, in hard shell condition with a minimum carapace width of 6 ¼ inches. Crabbers may also catch six red rock crab of either sex per day with a minimum carapace width of 5 inches. Additional information is available on WDFWs website athttp://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/crab/
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, 2018. For more information on catch record cards, visit WDFW’s website athttp://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/crab/crc.html