Avoid feeling crabbby: Winter Dungeness crab seasons in Puget Sound announced and will reopen daily beginning Tuesday (Oct. 1) Leave a reply

Sep 30, 2019 by Mark Yuasa
Mark Yuasa holds up a nice Dungeness crab caught in Puget Sound.

If you like to Dungeness crab as much as I do, then you’ll be glad to know that some marine areas are reopening Tuesday (Oct. 1) for a winter crab fishing season.

The highly anticipated openings were approved by fishery managers after summer catch assessments by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) indicated additional crab are available for harvest during the late season.

Waters reopening daily starting Oct. 1 through Dec. 31 include Neah Bay east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line (Marine Area 4); Sekiu area in wetsern Strait of Juan de Fuca (5); Port Angeles area eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca (6); San Juan Islands (7); Deception Pass, Hope Island, and Skagit Bay (8-1); Port Susan and Port Gardiner (8-2), and northern Puget Sound/Admiralty Inlet (9) except for waters south of a line from Olele Point to Foulweather Bluff.

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.

Sport crabbing will not reopen for winter in central Puget Sound (10); south-central Puget Sound (11) and southern Puget Sound (13). It is still uncertain whether portions of Port Gamble/Port Ludlow (within 9) and Hood Canal – North of Ayock Point (12) will open for a shortened winter season. WDFW expects to announce a decision in the future on whether these areas will reopen.

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.

You must have a Puget Sound Dungeness crab endorsement to harvest Dungeness crab from Puget Sound. 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.

For more information, go to https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/.

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