Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife FISHING RULE CHANGE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

June 2, 2004

Crab fishing delayed in southern part of Marine Area 8-1

Action: Recreational crab fishing will be delayed until further notice in the Saratoga Passage portion of Marine Area 8-1.

Effective date: The opening will be delayed from June 4, 2004 and remain in effect until crab shells become hardened. This area is limited to the southern portion of Marine Area 8-1, south of a line that extends from Snatelum Pt. to Rocky Pt.

Species affected: Dungeness and red rock crab.

Location: The delay of the scheduled opening is limited to Saratoga Passage in the portion of Marine Area 8-1 south of a line from Snatelum Point to Rocky Point. The northern portion of Marine Area 8-1, north of a line from Snatelum Pt. to Rocky Pt. will open as scheduled at 7 a.m. June 4, 2004 for recreational crabbing.

Reason for action: Recent crab shell condition testing has shown that northern Saratoga Passage still has large numbers of soft crab. Soft-shelled crab are subject to high mortality rates associated with handling. It is projected that shell condition criteria will be met in about two weeks.

Other information: Marine Areas 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 opened June 1, and Marine Areas 6 and the 7 South are scheduled to open June 16, Marine Area 7 East, July 16, and Marine Area 7 North, August 16. Openings in Areas 8-1 and 8-2 are on a Friday through Monday basis only.

Information contact: Steve Burton, Mill Creek Regional Office, (425) 775-1311 ext. 126 or Don Velasquez, Mill Creek Regional Office, (425) 775-1311 ext. 112.

Fishers must have a current Washington fishing license, appropriate to the fishery. Check the WDFW "Fishing in Washington" rules pamphlet for details on fishing seasons and regulations. Fishing rules are subject to change. Check the WDFW Fishing hotline for the latest rule information at (360) 902-2500, press 2 for recreational rules. For the Shellfish Rule Change hotline call (360)796-3215 or toll free 1-866-880-5431.