Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife FISHING RULE CHANGE
WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

December 10, 2019

Winter recreational crabbing in Marine Areas 8-1 and 8-2 will remain open through the end of January

OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today that two marine areas of Puget Sound will remain open for recreational crab fishing through Jan. 31, 2020.

Waters that will remain open to recreational crabbing include Marine Area 8-1 (Deception Pass, Hope Island, and Skagit Bay) and Marine Area 8-2 (Port Susan and Port Gardner).

After evaluation of crab harvest data from the 2019 winter season, state and tribal co-managers agree that the crab abundance in Marine Areas 8-1 and 8-2 can support an additional in-season increase to the harvest shares, allowing the state recreational fishery to remain open through the end of January. Managers made the decision to extend the recreational season to offset the closure that occurred between Oct. 23 through Nov. 28 while crab abundance in these marine areas was assessed.

By co-manager agreement, recreational crabbers will not be required to have a Puget Sound Dungeness crab license endorsement or record Dungeness crab retained on a Catch Record Card when crabbing in January 2020 in Marine Areas 8-1 and 8-2.

Dungeness crab caught in the fishery from Oct. 1 through Dec. 31, 2019 must still be recorded immediately on winter catch record cards, which are valid through Dec. 31. A valid shellfish or combination license is still required to harvest throughout the remainder of the season.

After conclusion of the regular winter harvest season on Dec. 31, 2019, winter catch reports are due to WDFW by Feb. 4, 2020. For more information on catch record cards, visit WDFW's website at https: //wdfw.wa.gov/licenses/fishing/catch-record-card/dungeness.

In each of the two affected areas, crabbing will be allowed seven days a week through Jan. 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.

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 catch six red rock crab of either sex per day with a minimum carapace width of 5 inches, and six Tanner crab 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.

Contact: Katelyn Bosley, 360-302-3030, ext. 319

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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