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April 07, 2011
Contact: Mark O’Toole, (360) 466-4345 ext. 241
Brandon Bryant, (360) 466-4345 ext. 247

Recreational shrimp fishery
opens May 7 in Puget Sound

OLYMPIA - Sport fishing for shrimp opens May 7 in Puget Sound, where resource managers are predicting another good season.

Test fisheries conducted by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) have found an abundance of spot shrimp in most areas of the Sound, said Mark O’Toole, a shellfish biologist for the department.

"Fishing prospects in many areas are looking even better than last year," said O’Toole, noting that he expects a strong turnout by shrimp fishers - especially on opening day. "Some of the boat ramps can get pretty crowded, so we encourage fishers to be patient and wait their turn."

That will be especially important at Twanoh State Park, a popular access site on Hood Canal where construction work will limit parking facilities for boaters through June. The State Parks and Recreation Commission encourages fishers d to use an alternate launch site – especially during the season opener.

In all areas of Puget Sound, fishers are limited to 80 spot shrimp per day. A valid 2011-12 fishing license is required to participate in the fishery.

O’Toole said fishing seasons for various areas of Puget Sound are similar to last year, although fishing time was reduced by one day around the San Juan Islands where last year’s catch exceeded the area catch quota by 2,400 pounds.

In setting this year’s seasons, fishery managers tried to pay close attention to the tides, O’Toole said. "We really don’t want to leave any fisher stranded 100 feet from the boat ramp on a low afternoon tide," he said.

Fishing seasons for various areas of Puget Sound opening May 7 are:

  • Hood Canal Shrimp District (Marine Area 12): Open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on May 7, 11, 14 and 25. Additional dates and times may be announced if sufficient quota remains.
  • Discovery Bay Shrimp District (Marine Area 6): Open May 7, 11 and 14 from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Additional dates and times will be announced if sufficient quota remains.
  • Marine Areas 4 (east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line), 5, 6 and 13 (excluding shrimp districts): Open daily beginning May 7 at 7 a.m. The spot shrimp season closes when quota is attained or Sept 15, whichever comes first, except for Marine Area 13, which closes for spot shrimp May 31.
  • Marine Area 7: Opens May 7 at 7 a.m. and will be open May 11, 13, 14, 25 and 28. Additional dates and times will be announced if sufficient quota remains. The season for coonstripe and pink shrimp (with area and depth restrictions) runs daily from June 1 through Oct. 15.
  • Marine Areas 8, 9, and 10: Open May 7 and May 11 from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Additional dates and times will be announced if sufficient quota remains.
  • Marine Area 11, extending from the northern tip of Vashon Island to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge: Open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 7 only.

For a description of the marine areas, see WDFW’s Recreational Shrimp Fishing website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/shrimp/.