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

April 29, 2003

Hood Canal shrimp season opens May 17

Action: The Hood Canal recreational shrimp season will open for four days in May.

Effective date: Shrimping will be open May 17, 21, 24 and 28 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on a Wednesday and Saturday schedule. Additional openings for May 31 or June 4 depend on May catch rates, and will be announced after May 28.

Species affected: All shrimp

Location: All waters of Hood Canal, south of the Hood Canal Bridge.

Reason for action: This year's allowable catch of shrimp for recreational fishers in Hood Canal is 74,000 pounds.

Other information: Sport fishers are limited to one shrimp pot per person, with a daily limit of 80 shrimp. Pots must conform to gear specifications contained in the 2003/04 "Fishing in Washington" rules pamphlet. The pamphlet also describes legal buoys. Other regulations for Hood Canal shrimp fishing include:

Any shrimp caught over the individual fisher limit of 80 may be passed to other licensed fishers on the boat who don't have their limit. After the boat limit is reached, shrimp must be returned immediately to the water unharmed. Each limit must be kept in a separate container. Fishers may remove and discard the heads from their shrimp while on the water.

Each vessel participating in the fishery may have on board and operate no more than four shrimp pots.

Pots may not be set prior to 9 a.m. and must be removed from the water by 1 p.m. each fishing day. Each fisher must set and pull their own gear, however, a second person may assist the pot owner in operation of the gear.

Once a person has reached his or her limit, another person may fish the gear as long as the identified pot owner is aboard. Another person may attach a buoy bearing his or her name and address to the pot and continue fishing for a separate 80-shrimp limit. It is acceptable to securely affix duct tape to a buoy and legibly mark your name and address. However, only one name and address may appear on any buoy.

Fishers are advised that a minus 3.7 tide will occur on Saturday, May 17th at 12:30 p.m. which will make many of the boat ramps in Hood Canal inaccessible or difficult to utilize.

Shrimp fishers also may harvest clams and oysters on Hood Canal's public beaches subject to regulations in the fishing pamphlet and on the WDFW shellfish hotline (listed below). Shrimp fishers may not fish for crabs as the Hood Canal Crab season is currently closed. The crab fishery in Hood Canal is projected to open in early June.

Information contact: Dave Sterritt (ext. 228) or Rich Childers (ext. 400), at the Point Whitney Office, (360) 796-4601

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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