September 28, 2017
Dear Puget Sound Commercial Crab Fishers and Dealers:
This letter is to inform you of regulation changes for the 2017-18 commercial Dungeness crab season, which begins at 8:00
a.m. on October 1, 2017. It is your responsibility as the Puget Sound Dungeness Crab license owner or wholesale dealer to
communicate this important information to the alternate operators and buyers who work for you. The current permanent
fishing rules and provisions and the emergency (temporary) rules are included in this season's commercial packet. The
emergency rules replace specific sections of the permanent rules. Both permanent and emergency rules must be read together
for a complete understanding of the 2017-18 season regulations. For example, if the permanent rules indicate an area opens
on November 1 and the emergency rules list October 15 as the opening date, the area will open on October 15.
As a reminder, three years ago there was a change to the RCWs outlining the number of permits that can be stacked on a
single vessel. RCW 77-65-100 and
RCW 77-65-130 were amended to
allow the stacking of up to three licenses on a single designated vessel.
Please review the regulatory provisions and the following information carefully before fishing and feel free to contact
an agency employee at the numbers listed below if you have questions.
The following regulations will be implemented this season:
The Puget Sound Commercial Crab Fishery will open Sunday, October 1, 2017 at 8:00 AM.
For Crab Management Region 1, Region 2 East, Region 2 West, Region 3-1, Region 3-2, Region 3-3 East and Region
3-3 West, effective 8:00 a.m. October 1, 2017, until further notice it is unlawful for any person to fish for
crabs for commercial purposes with more than 50 pots per license per buoy tag number. Region 1 includes Marine
Fish-Shellfish Catch Reporting Areas 20A, 20B, 21A, 21B, 22A and 22B. Region 3-1 includes 23A and 23B. Region 3-3 East
and West includes 23C and 29, Region 2 East includes 24A, 24B, 24C, 24D and 26A-E. Region 2 West includes 25B, 25D and
26A-W. Region 3-2 includes 23D, 25A and 25E.
The remaining buoy tags per license per region must be onboard the designated vessel and available for immediate
inspection in Crab Management Regions 1, 2 East, 2 West, 3-1, 3-2, 3-3 East and 3-3 West.
Change for the 2017/18 season: Starting this season Region 3-3 has been divided into Region 3-3 East
and Region 3-3 West, with different allocations for each sub-region. Region 3-3 East includes only those waters of Area
23C east of line drawn true north of Low Point (at 123 degrees and 49.6 minutes west). Region 3-3 West includes those
waters of Area 23C west of a line drawn true north of Low Point (at 123 degrees and 49.6 minutes west) and Area 29.
Please see the enclosed map of region and catch area boundaries. Any in-season changes to regional pot limits and
information about reopening regions for commercial crabbing will be announced on the website at:
http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/commercial/crab/pugetsound/. The phone hotline is being discontinued and will no longer be
Questions may be directed to Don Rothaus at (425) 775-1311 x126, Don Velasquez at (425) 775-1311 x112, Mark O'Toole
(360) 466-4345 x 241, or Bob Sizemore at (360) 302-3030 x303.
Setting crab pot gear from a vessel not designated on a crab license ("barging") will be allowed in Regions 1, 3-1, and
3-3 only. Barging WILL NOT be allowed in Region 2 East, Region 2 West, or Region 3-2.
Barging in Regions 1, 3-1, and 3-3 will be allowed from 8:00 a.m. on October 1, 2017 until 7:00 p.m. on October 2, 2017
provided that the operator or alternate operator designated on the license is on board the non-designated vessel and
prior notice is given to WDFW. The license owner must leave a telephone message at the Mill Creek Regional office, (425)
775-1311 ext 126 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
- License Owner(s)
- License Number(s)
- Primary Operator
- Alt Operator
- Buoy Brand
- # of Pots
- Name of Barging Vessel
- Barging Vessel CG ID # or WN #
- Region or Set Location
Dungeness Bay Non-commercial Area:
The State commercial crab fishery is closed in that portion of Marine Fish/Shellfish Catch Area 25A west of the 123
degrees 7.0 minutes longitude line projected true south from the New Dungeness light to the southern shore of Dungeness
Bay (See WAC 220-52-04600T).
Port Angeles Harbor Non-commercial Area:
That portion of Marine Fish/Shellfish Catch Area 23D west of a line from the eastern tip of Ediz Hook to the ITT
Rayonier Dock (Port Angeles Harbor) will be closed to commercial crab harvest this season (See WAC 220-52-04600T) based
on recommendations from the Clallam County Department of Health and Human Services.
Commercial crab fishing will be open at 8:00 a.m. October 1, 2017, in the following areas until further notice (See WAC
220-52-04600T and enclosed maps, for a complete description of area boundaries):
- Outer Birch Bay Limited-Commercial Area: 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.
- Fidalgo Bay Limited-Commercial Area: 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 Cap Sante
Marina to the northern end of the eastern most oil dock.
- Deer Harbor Limited-Commercial Area: 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.
- Useless Bay Limited-Commercial Area: Those waters of Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and
Catch Reporting Area 26A-W in Useless Bay north and east of a line from the south end of the Double Bluff State Park
seawall (47°58.782'N, 122°30.840'W) projected 110 degrees true to the boulder on shore (47°57.690'N, 122°26.742'W).
- Port Gardner Limited-Commercial Area: That portion of Marine Fish-Shellfish Catch
Reporting Area 26A east of a line projected from the outermost tip of the ferry dock at Mukilteo, projected to the
green #3 buoy at the mouth of the Snohomish River, and west of a line projected from that #3 buoy southward to the oil
boom pier on the shoreline.
- Possession Point to Glendale Limited-Commercial Area: That portion of Marine
Fish-Shellfish Management and Catch Reporting Area 26A east of a line that extends true north from the green #1 buoy
at Possession Point to Possession Point, and west of a line from the green #1 buoy at Possession Point extending
northward along the 200-foot depth contour to the Glendale dock.
- Langley Limited Commercial Area: That portion of Marine Fish-Shellfish Management and
Catch Reporting Area 24C shoreward of the 400-foot depth contour within an area described by two lines projected
northeasterly from Sandy Point and the entrance to the marina at Langley.
The permanent regulation regarding all other non-commercial and limited-commercial areas not listed above is found in
WAC 220-52-046, which is enclosed in this mailing.
Maps showing approximate non-commercial and limited-commercial zone boundaries and descriptions of these areas are
enclosed for your convenience. Note that the state commercial fishery is closed in areas designated on the maps as
"Special Management Areas".
Buoy tags are being issued as a one year tag. The permanent regulations addressing the use of buoy tags are included
with this letter (WAC 220-52-040,
WAC 220-52-043) and the following
process will again be used for obtaining replacement tags:
- Additional tags to replace lost tags will only be issued to the owners or operators of Puget Sound commercial crab
fishery licenses. There is a $1.25 charge for each replacement tag. The charge per fisher, for replacement tags needed
during the 2017-18 season, will be billed to those fishers when they purchase tags for the 2018-19 season.
- To obtain replacement tags, the owner must complete and sign a declaration form in the presence of a designated agency
employee, stating the number of pots/buoy tags lost, the location and date where the pot gear or tags were last
observed, and the presumed cause of loss. Replacement tags can only be obtained in person at the following designated
locations and from the following agency staff:
Mill Creek Regional Office
16018 Mill Creek Blvd.
Mill Creek, WA
- Don Rothaus (425) 775-1311 x126
- Don Velasquez (425) 775-1311 x112
- George Peterson (425) 775-1311 x119
LaConner District Office
111 Sherman St.
- Mark O'Toole (360) 466-4345 x241
Port Townsend Office
375 Hudson St .
Port Townsend, WA
- Bob Sizemore (360) 302-3030 x303
- Karen Nordstrom (360) 302-3030 x320
- Doug Rogers (360) 302-3030 x311
Natural Resources Building
1111 Washington St. SE
Olympia, WA 98501
- Commercial Licenses (360) 902-2464
Bellingham District Office
2620 N. Harbor Loop Dr, Suite 20
- Chad Paul or Samantha Bund (360) 676-2146
To ensure that appropriate staff will be on site to distribute replacement tags, please contact designated staff at the
office where you plan to obtain replacement tags to schedule an appointment. Declaration forms will be available at the
time of receiving replacement tags.
The following regulations for crab buyers will be implemented again this season:
- At the request of the crab industry, we are requiring daily reports by crab buyers during the 2017-18 season to
improve our ability to monitor the state commercial harvest in each region. You must report daily purchases of Puget
Sound crab harvested by non-treaty fishers by 10:00 a.m. the following business day. For more details, see permanent
WAC 220-352-180. Reports must
be made by fax or e-mail.
- The reports must be made to the Mill Creek Regional Office by fax at 425-338-1066 (See WAC 220-352-18000B) or by
e-mail to email@example.com. For your convenience an optional FAX
reporting form has been included in this mailer. An electronic version of this form is available on request to the
crabreport e-mail address. Fax and E-mail reports must specify the dealer name, dealer phone number, date of delivery of
crabs to the original receiver, and the total number of pounds of crab caught by non-treaty fishers by Crab Management
Region or Marine Fish/Shellfish Catch Area. The fish receiving ticket-reporting requirement of WAC 220-352-180 remains in effect.
- Dealers/Buyers can NOT leave voice messages for catch reports.
- According to WAC 220-352-180,
it is unlawful for any original receiver of crab to fail to record ALL crab aboard the
vessel making the delivery to the original receiver. The poundage of any crab deemed to be unmarketable, discards, or
weigh backs must be shown on the fish receiving ticket, but a zero dollar value may be entered for such crab
Complete regulations and landings information that pertain to the 2017-18 Puget Sound commercial crab fishery can be
found on the WDFW web site.
WDFW web site for the commercial crab fishery:
Please note that this is the eighth year that this material will NOT be printed out in hardcopy and mailed out to
everyone. In the interest of conducting more efficient business practices, the former "mailer" is now posted in the WDFW
website's commercial section. This section will continue to be updated with in-season harvest numbers, detailed color
charts for special zones, and current emergency regulations. If you need a printed copy of this pre-season information
packet please call 425-775-1311 ext 126 with your request and be sure to leave your name and mailing address.
Have a safe and productive season.
Puget Sound Shellfish Biologist, (425) 775-1311 ext 126
Puget Sound Shellfish Biologist, (425) 775-1311 ext 112
cc: Bob Sizemore, Puget Sound Shellfish Manager
Mark O'Toole, Puget Sound Crustacean Lead
- Map of Shellfish Management Regions
- Maps and Descriptions of Non-commercial and Limited Commercial Areas
- Emergency Regulations
- Permanent Regulations: