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Commercial

Puget Sound Commercial Dungeness Crab Fishery

Note: The following regulations are the opening emergency regulations for the 2014-2015 season. In-season emergency regulations will be posted on this site as they occur. You can also call the Commercial Crab Hotline at the number posted to the left of this page for the latest emergency regulations.

Puget Sound is home to two fleets of commercial vessels, Tribal and State. The State commercial crab fleet possesses about 248 licenses. The fishery is currently limited to this number of licenses, however current license holders may transfer an existing license to a new party. Information on Tribal fishing in Puget Sound is available through the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission.

Crab Commercial Fishing Regions

Commercial Crab Fishery Information

The State emergency commercial fishery regulations:

UPDATE:  Region 3-3 Closed at 7:00 pm on Wednesday, April 15, 2015. This wraps up the 2014-15 Puget Sound State commercial Dungeness crab season.

Final Emergency Regulation (March 31st, 2015)

 

ORDER NO. 15-60                         

N E W   S E C T I O N

 

   WAC 220-52-04600L   Puget Sound crab fishery--Seasons and Areas.

   Notwithstanding the provisions of WAC 220-52-046:

 

(1)   Effective 7:00 p.m., March 31, 2015, Crab Management Region 3-1 is closed. Region 3-1 includes all waters of Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Areas 23A and 23B.

 

(2)   Effective immediately, until further notice, the following areas are closed to commercial crab fishing:

 

(a)    All of Crab Management Region 1.  Region 1 includes all waters of Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Areas 20A, 20B, 21A, 21B, 22A and 22B.

 

(b)   All of Crab Management Region 2 West.  Region 2 West includes all waters of Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Areas 25B, 25D and 26A West.

 

(c)    All of Crab Management Region 2 East.  Region 2 East includes all waters of Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Areas 24A, 24B, 24C, 24D and 26A East.

 

(d)   All of Crab Management Region 3-2. Region 3-2 includes all waters of Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Areas 23D, 25A and 25E.

 

R E P E A L E R S

 

   The following sections of the Washington Administrative code are repealed effective 7:00 p.m.   March 31, 2015:

 

WAC 220-52-04000D    Commercial crab fishery--Lawful and unlawful gear, methods, and other unlawful acts (15-43)

 

WAC 220-52-04600K  Puget Sound crab fishery--Seasons and Areas (15-43)

 

   The following section of the Washington Administrative Code is repealed effective 7:00 p.m., April 15, 2015:

 

        WAC 220-52-04600L  Puget Sound crab fishery—Seasons and Areas.

12th Emergency Regulation (March 19th, 2015):ORDER NO. 15-43

 

N E W   S E C T I O N

 

      WAC 220-52-04000D   Commercial crab fishery—Lawful and unlawful gear, methods, and other unlawful acts.

 

      Notwithstanding the provisions of WAC 220-52-040, WAC 220-52-043 and WAC 220-52-046,effective 7:00 p.m., March 19, 2015, until further notice, it is unlawful to retain any salmon, food fish, or shellfish, except octopus and Tanner crabs (Chionoecetes spp.), taken incidental to any commercial crab fishing.

 

(a)    Tanner crabs may only be retained in Crab Region 3-1 (defined as all waters of Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Areas 23A and 23B).

 

(b)   It is unlawful to retain Tanner crabs other than males with a minimum width of 4.5 inches across the widest point in the carapace.

 

NEW SECTION

  

 WAC 220-52-04600K   Puget Sound crab fishery--Seasons and Areas.

 

   Notwithstanding the provisions of WAC 220-52-046:

 

(1)   Effective 7:00 p.m., March 19, 2015, Crab Management Region 1 is closed.  Region 1includes all waters of Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Areas 20A, 20B, 21A, 21B, 22A and 22B.

 

(2)   Effective immediately, until further notice, the following areas are closed to commercial crab fishing:

 

(a)    All of Crab Management Region 2 West.  Region 2 West includes all waters of Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Areas 25B, 25D and 26A West.

 

(b)   All of Crab Management Region 2 East.  Region 2 East includes all waters of Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Areas 24A, 24B, 24C, 24D and 26A East.

 

(c)    All of Crab Management Region 3-2. Region 3-2 includes all waters of Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Areas 23D, 25A and 25E.

 

R E P E A L E R S

 

   The following sections of the Washington Administrative code are repealed effective 7:00 p.m.   March 19, 2015:

 

WAC 220-52-04000C    Commercial crab fishery--Lawful and unlawful gear, methods, and other unlawful acts (15-39)

 

WAC 220-52-04600J  Puget Sound crab fishery--Seasons and Areas (15-39)

11th Emergency Regulation (March 10th, 2015):

ORDER NO. 15-39

N E W   S E C T I O N      

   WAC 220-52-04000C   Commercial crab fishery—Lawful and unlawful gear, methods, and other unlawful acts.

1.      Notwithstanding the provisions of WAC 220-52-040, effective 6:30 p.m. March 10, 2015, until further notice:

a.       It is unlawful for any person to fish for crabs for commercial purposes with more than 30 pots per license per buoy tag number in Crab Management Region 1.  This region includes Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Areas 20A, 20B, 21A, 21B, 22A and 22B.

 

b.      The remaining buoy tags per license per region over the pot limits for the area fished must be onboard the designated vessel and available for inspection upon request.

 

2.   Notwithstanding the provisions of WAC 220-52-040, WAC 220-52-043 and WAC 220-52-046, effective immediately, until further notice: It is unlawful to retain any salmon, food fish, or shellfish, except octopus and Tanner crabs (Chionoecetes spp.), taken incidental to any commercial crab fishing.

 

a.       Tanner crabs may only be retained in Crab Region 1 (defined as all waters of Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Areas 20A, 20B, 21A, 21B, 22A, and 22B) and Crab Region 3-1 (defined as all waters of Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Areas 23A and 23B.)

 

b.      It is unlawful to retain Tanner crabs other than males with a minimum width of 4.5 inches across the widest point in the carapace.                                                           

N E W   S E C T I O N

 

   WAC 220-52-04600J   Puget Sound crab fishery--Seasons and Areas.

 

   Notwithstanding the provisions of WAC 220-52-046:

 

(1)   Effective immediately, until further notice, it is permissible to fish for Dungeness crab for commercial purposes in the following areas:

 

a.       Those waters of Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Area 20A between a line from the boat ramp at the western boundary of Birch Bay State Park to the western point of the entrance of the Birch Bay Marina and a line from the same boat ramp to Birch Point.

 

b.      Those waters of Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Area 22B in Fidalgo Bay south of a line projected from the red number 4 entrance buoy at Cape Sante Marina to the northern end of the eastern most oil dock.

 

c.       Those waters of Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Area 22A in Deer  Harbor north of a line projected from Steep Point to Pole Pass.

 

(2)   Effective 6:30 p.m., March 10, 2015, Crab Management Region 2 West is closed.  Region 2 west includes all waters of Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Areas 25B, 25D and 26A West.

 

(3)   Effective immediately, until further notice, the following areas are closed to commercial crab fishing:

 

(a) All of Crab Management Region 2 East.  Region 2 East includes all waters of Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Areas 24A, 24B, 24C, 24D and 26A East.

 

(b) All of Crab Management Region 3-2. Region 3-2 includes all waters of Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Areas 23D, 25A and 25E.

 

R E P E A L E R S

 

   The following sections of the Washington Administrative code are repealed effective 6:30 p.m. March 10, 2015:

 

WAC 220-52-04000B    Commercial crab fishery--Lawful and unlawful gear, methods, and other unlawful acts (15-37)

 

WAC 220-52-04600I   Puget Sound crab fishery--Seasons and Areas (15-37)

 

10th Emergency Regulation (March 8th, 2015):

 

ORDER NO. 15-37                                                             

N E W   S E C T I O N

 

   WAC 220-52-04000B   Commercial crab fishery—Lawful and unlawful gear, methods, and other unlawful acts.

 

(1) Notwithstanding the provisions of WAC 220-52-040, effective 8:00 a.m. March 8, 2015, until further notice:

 

(a) It is unlawful for any person to fish for crabs for commercial purposes with more than 30 pots per license per buoy tag number in Crab Management Region 1.  This region includes Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Areas 20A, 20B, 21A, 21B, 22A and 22B.

 

(b) It is unlawful for any person to fish for crabs for commercial purposes with more than 30 pots per license per buoy tag number in Crab Management Region 2 West.  This region includes Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Areas 25B, 25D and 26A West.

 

(c) The remaining buoy tags per license per region over the pot limits for the area fished must be onboard the designated vessel and available for inspection upon request.

 

(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of WAC 220-52-040, WAC 220-52-043 and WAC 220-52-046, effective immediately, until further notice:  It is unlawful to retain any salmon, food fish, or shellfish, except octopus and Tanner crabs (Chionoecetes spp.), taken incidental to any commercial crab fishing.

 

(a) Tanner crabs may only be retained in Crab Region 1 (defined as all waters of Marine Fish- Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Areas 20A, 20B, 21A, 21B, 22A, and 22B) and Crab Region 3-1 (defined as all waters of Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Areas 23A and 23B).

 

(b) It is unlawful to retain Tanner crabs other than males with a minimum width of 4.5 inches across the widest point in the carapace.                                                                                    

N E W   S E C T I O N

 

   WAC 220-52-04600I   Puget Sound crab fishery--Seasons and Areas.

 

   Notwithstanding the provisions of WAC 220-52-046:

 

(1)   Effective 8:00 a.m. March 8, 2015, until further notice, it is permissible to fish for Dungeness crab for commercial purposes in the following areas:

 

(a) Those waters of Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Area 20A between a line from the boat ramp at the western boundary of Birch Bay State Park to the western point of the entrance of the Birch Bay Marina and a line from the same boat ramp to Birch Point.

 

(b) Those waters of Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Area 22B in Fidalgo Bay south of a line projected from the red number 4 entrance buoy at Cape Sante Marina to the northern end of the eastern most oil dock.

 

(c) Those waters of Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Area 22A in Deer Harbor north of a line projected from Steep Point to Pole Pass.

 

(2)   Effective immediately, until further notice, the following areas are closed to commercial crab fishing:

 

a)      That portion of Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Area 25A west of the 123o 7.0’ longitude line projected from the new Dungeness light due south to the shore of Dungeness Bay.

 

b)      That portion of Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Area 23D west of a line from the eastern tip of Ediz Hook to the ITT Rayonier Dock.

 

c)      Those waters of Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Area 24A east of a line projected true north from the most westerly tip of Skagit Island and extending south to the most westerly tip of Hope Island, thence southeast to Seal Rocks, thence southeast to the green can buoy at the mouth of Swinomish Channel, thence easterly to the west side of Goat Island.

 

d)     All of Crab Management Region 2 East.  Region 2 East includes Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Areas 24A, 24B, 24C, 24D and 26A East.

 

(3)   Effective 6:30 p.m. March 8, 2015, Crab Management Region 3-2 is closed.  Region 3-2 includes all waters of Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Areas 23D, 25A and 25E.

 

R E P E A L E R S

 

   The following sections of the Washington Administrative code are repealed effective 8:00 a.m. March 8, 2015:

 

WAC 220-52-04000V    Commercial crab fishery--Lawful and unlawful gear, methods, and other unlawful acts (14-350)

 

 WAC 220-52-04000A    Commercial crab fishery-- unlawful acts (15-15)

 

WAC 220-52-04600H   Puget Sound crab fishery--Seasons and Areas (14-350)

 

9th Emergency Regulation (Feb 5th, 2015):

 

ORDER NO.  15-15

 

N E W   S E C T I O N

 

WAC 220-52-04000A  Commercial crab fishery—Unlawful acts.

 

 Notwithstanding the provisions of WAC 220-52-040, WAC 220-52-043 and WAC 220-52-046, effective 8:00 a.m. February 5, 2015, until further notice, incidental catch may not be retained. It is unlawful to retain salmon, food fish, or any shellfish other than octopus and Tanner crabs (Chionoecetes spp.) that is taken incidental to any commercial crab fishing. Additionally, Tanner crabs may only be retained in Crab Region 1 (defined as all waters of Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Areas 20A, 20B, 21A, 21B, 22A, and 22B) and Crab Region 3-1 (defined as all waters of Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Areas 23A and 23B.)  Tanner crabs retained must be males with a minimum width of 4.5 inches across the widest point in the carapace.

 

N E W   S E C T I O N

 

WAC 220-12-02000A  Shellfish—Classification.

 

  Notwithstanding the provisions of WAC 220-12-020, effective 8:00 a.m. February 5, 2015, until further notice, the following specie is classified as shellfish under RCW 77.12.047 and is subject to the provisions of this title:

Crab

 

Tanner crab Chionoecetes spp.

 

N E W   S E C T I O N

 

   WAC 220-69-24000? Duties of commercial purchasers and receivers.

 

Notwithstanding the provisions of WAC 220-69-240, effective at 8:00 am, February 5, 2015, until further notice, it is unlawful for any wholesale dealer acting in the capacity of an original receiver of Dungeness crab taken by non-treaty fishers from Puget Sound, to fail to report to the department the previous day’s purchases by 10:00 a.m. the following day.  Reports must be made by fax to (425) 338-1066 or by e-mail at crabreport@dfw.wa.gov, and must specify the dealer name, dealer phone number, date of delivery of crab to the original receiver, total number of pounds of crab caught by non-treaty fishers, by Crab Management Region or by Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Area.  This rule also applies to the incidental take of Tanner crabs (Chionoecetes spp.) during the Dungeness crab fishery.

 

R E P E A L E R S

 

   The following sections of the Washington Administrative code are repealed effective 8:00 a.m., February 5, 2015:

WAC 220-69-24000K   Duties of commercial purchasers and receivers (14-335)

 

8th Emergency Regulation (Dec 28th, 2014):

 

ORDER NO.  14-350

 

NEW   S E C T I O N

   WAC 220-52-04000V   Commercial crab fishery—Lawful and unlawful gear, methods, and other unlawful acts.

 

   Notwithstanding the provisions of WAC 220-52-040, effective 5:00 p.m. December 28, 2014, until further notice:

 

(1)   It is unlawful for any person to fish for crabs for commercial purposes with more than 30 pots per license per buoy tag number in Crab Management Region 1.  This region includes Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Areas 20A, 20B, 21A, 21B, 22A and 22B.

 

(2)   It is unlawful for any person to fish for crabs for commercial purposes with more than 50 pots per license per buoy tag number in Crab Management Region 3-2.  This region includes Marine Fish-Shellfish Catch Reporting Areas 23D, 25A and 25E.

 

(3)   The remaining buoy tags per license per region over the pot limits for the area fished must be onboard the designated vessel and available for inspection.

 

N E W   S E C T I O N

 

   WAC 220-52-04600H   Puget Sound crab fishery--Seasons and Areas.

 

   Notwithstanding the provisions of WAC 220-52-046, effective 5:00 p.m. December 28, 2014, until further notice:

 

(1)   It is permissible to fish for Dungeness crab for commercial purposes in the following areas:

 

a)      Those waters of Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Area 20A between a line from the boat ramp at the western boundary of Birch Bay State Park to the western point of the entrance of the Birch Bay Marina and a line from the same boat ramp to Birch Point.

 

b)      Those waters of Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Area 22B in Fidalgo Bay south of a line projected from the red number 4 entrance buoy at Cape Sante Marina to the northern end of the eastern most oil dock.

 

c)      Those waters of Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Area 22A in Deer Harbor north of a line projected from Steep Point to Pole Pass.

 

(2) The following areas are closed to commercial crab fishing:

 

a)      That portion of Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Area 25A west of the 123o 7.0’ longitude line projected from the new Dungeness light due south to the shore of Dungeness Bay.

 

b)      That portion of Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Area 23D west of a line from the eastern tip of Ediz Hook to the ITT Rayonier Dock.

 

c)      Those waters of Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Area 24A east of a line projected true north from the most westerly tip of Skagit Island and extending south to the most westerly tip of Hope Island, thence southeast to Seal Rocks, thence southeast to the green can buoy at the mouth of Swinomish Channel, thence easterly to the west side of Goat Island.

 

d)     All of Crab Management Region 2 West.  Region 2 West includes Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Areas 25B, 25D, and 26A-West.

 

e)      All of Crab Management Region 2 East.  Region 2 East includes Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Areas 24A, 24B, 24C, 24D and 26A East.

 

R E P E A L E R S

 

   The following sections of the Washington Administrative code are repealed effective 5:00 p.m. December 28, 2014:

 

WAC 220-52-04000T    Commercial crab fishery--Lawful and unlawful gear, methods, and other unlawful acts (14-344)

 

WAC 220-52-04600G    Puget Sound crab fishery--Seasons and Areas (14-344)