Statewide Gear Rules
Crab, Shrimp & Crawfish
Report Lost Shellfishing Gear
 
RECREATIONAL CRAB FISHING
Recreational Crab Fishing State shellfish managers set Puget Sound crab seasons
Summer crab-fishing seasons for Puget Sound, start June 1 with an early opening in Marine Area 13 south of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Most other areas of the Sound will open for recreational crab fishing July 3, although two areas around the San Juan Islands open later in summer to protect molting crab. Learn more >>
  Click Description for complete Rules & Seasons
Marine
Area
Description Status
1 South Coast/Pacific Ocean LIMITED SEASON
1 Columbia River OPEN ALL YEAR
2 Westport/Ocean Shores LIMITED SEASON
2 Willapa Bay - Area 2-1 LIMITED SEASON
2 Grays Harbor - Area 2-2 LIMITED SEASON
3 LaPush LIMITED SEASON
4 Neah Bay - East of Tatoosh-Bonilla line OPEN
4 Neah Bay - West of Tatoosh-Bonilla line LIMITED SEASON
5 Sekiu and Pillar Point OPEN
6 East Juan de Fuca Strait, Port Angeles Harbor, Discovery Bay OPEN
7 South - San Juan Islands/Bellingham OPEN
7 North - Gulf of Georgia OPEN
8 Deception Pass - Area 8-1 OPEN
8 Port Susan/Everett - Area 8-2 OPEN
9 Admiralty Inlet OPEN
10 Seattle/Bremerton OPEN
11 Tacoma-Vashon Island OPEN
12 Hood Canal OPEN
13 South Puget Sound OPEN

Crabbing is one of Puget Sound’s most popular recreational fisheries. Each year, sport fishers catch more than a million pounds of Dungeness crab, using pots, ring nets and – in the case of wade and dive fishers – their bare hands.

In addition to meeting licensing requirements, everyone who fishes for crab in Puget Sound must carry and complete catch record cards to account for all Dungeness crab they catch. Recent changes in the reporting system now in effect:

  • Two-card reporting system: All sport crabbers fishing in Puget Sound are required to report their Dungeness crab catch on separate summer and fall/winter catch record cards at the end of each season. The new cards are separate from the multi-species card used for recording catches of salmon, halibut and other fish. People of all ages who have a crab endorsement and received a catch record card are required to make a report even if they did not go crabbing or catch any crab.
     
  • On-line reporting: Sport crabbers can either report their information on the WDFW crab reporting website or mail in their catch cards. The website address for reporting crab catches is printed on the catch record card along with reporting deadlines.
     
  • No coastal reporting: Catch record cards are required for those fishing for Dungeness crab along the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Puget Sound, which includes marine area 4 (east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line) and marine areas 5-13. They are not required along the coast, which includes marine areas 1-3 and marine area 4 (west of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line).
     
  • Failure to report penalty: If crabbers fail to report their summer or winter harvest, they will be assessed a $10 penalty with the following year's license purchase.

Fishery managers rely on individual catch record card reports to estimate recreational harvest and to set future crabbing opportunities. By completing catch record cards, fishers play a vital role in maintaining sustainable harvest opportunities.

Click on the map below in the area
for crab season and limit information

Crab Seasons  - Neah Bay - West of Tatoosh-Bonilla line Crab Seasons - Sekiu and Pillar Point Crab Seasons - Seattle/Bremerton Crab Seasons -  San Juans/Eastern Juan De Fuca Crab Seasons - San Juan Islands/Bellingham portion of Marine Area 7 Crab Seasons - LaPush Crab Seasons - Westport/Ocean Shores Crab Seasons - Grays Harbor Crab Seasons - Willapa Bay Crab Seasons - South Coast Crab Seasons - Columbia River Crab Seasons - Neah Bay - East of Tatoosh-Bonilla line Crab Seasons -  East Juan de Fuca Strait, Port Angeles Harbor, Discovery Bay Crab Seasons - Hood Canal Crab Seasons - South Puget Sound Crab Season - Tacoma-Vashon Island Crab Seasons -  Admiralty Inlet Crab Seasons - Deception Pass Crab Seasons - Port Susan/Everett

 
Buy Your License Online! Buy Your License Online!
   KNOW BEFORE YOU GO!
Crabbing in Puget Sound (Sport fishing guide) PDF
Puget Sound Recreational Dungeness Crab Guide PDF
   REPORT YOUR CATCH
Report Online!Online Puget Sound Crab Reporting
Dungeness Crab Catch Record Card Information
   RELATED INFORMATION
Statewide Harvest Rules
Washington State Auditor's Report:
Puget Sound Dungeness Crab Fishing

January 2010
Recreational Shrimp Fishing
Boating in Washington Information
Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Information