The recreational crab fishing season in Marine Area 10 (Seattle/Bremerton) will reopen for the month of December, joining the rest of Puget Sound already open to late-season crabbing.
Rich Childers, shellfish manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), said enough crab are available for harvest in the marine area to allow for the limited opportunity.
The marine area has been closed since the summer-fishery ended in early September, when fishery managers conducted a catch assessment of all Puget Sound crab fisheries.
Unlike on Washington’s coast, marine toxins have not been an issue in Puget Sound crab.
Crabbing in Marine Area 10 will get under way Dec. 1 at 8 a.m., and will be open seven days a week. All other marine areas of Puget Sound are already open to crab fishing daily through Dec. 31. Additional information is available on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/crab/.
The daily catch limit in Puget Sound is five Dungeness crab, males only, in hard-shell condition with a minimum carapace width of 6¼ inches. In addition, fishers may catch six red rock crab of either sex per day, provided those crab measure at least 5 inches across.
All Dungeness crab caught in the late-season fishery must be recorded on winter catch cards, which are valid through Dec. 31. Winter cards – free to those with crab endorsements – are available at license vendors across the state.
Winter catch reports are due to WDFW by Feb. 1, 2016. For more information on catch record cards, visit WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/crab/crc.html.