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

July 31, 2019

Fishing Rule Reminder: Marine Area 10 closes to crabbing Aug. 3; crabbers must release soft-shell crab

Action: Reminds recreational crabbers that Marine 10 (Seattle/Bremerton) will close Aug. 3. Crabbers must release all soft-shell crab.

Effective date: Aug. 3, 2019.

Species affected: Dungeness crab, red rock crab, tanner crab.

Location: Marine Area 10 (Seattle/Bremerton).

Reason for action: Typically the summer crab season in Marine Area 10 remains open through Labor Day, but is closing earlier to remain within the state quota. Some areas including Marine Area 11 (Tacoma-Vashon Island), the portion of Marine Area 12 (Hood Canal) south of Ayock Point, and Marine Area 13 (south Puget Sound) did not open for crabbing this season due to low Dungeness crab abundance.

Additional information: This season, there have been numerous reports of soft-shelled Dungeness crab in recreational traps. Crabbers are reminded that all soft-shell crab must be released, even if they meet all other criteria for harvest. Page 132 of the Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet offers information about how to identify soft-shell crab. Soft-shell crab yield less meat, and of lower quality, than hard-shell crab.

Releasing soft-shell crab eliminates wastage and allows the crab to be harvested later, when meat quality and quantity is greatest.

The daily limit throughout Puget Sound is five Dungeness crab, males only, in hard-shell condition with a minimum carapace width of 6 1/4 inches. Fishers may also keep six red rock crab of either sex per day in open areas, provided those crab are in hard-shell condition and measure at least 5 inches across the back shell.

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 the crab and before re-deploying the trap. Separate catch record cards are issued for the summer and winter seasons.

Information contact: Don Velasquez, Puget Sound shellfish biologist, 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.

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