April 14, 2006
Contact: Rich Childers, (360) 796-4601
Public meetings will focus on estimates of crab catch
OLYMPIA – Sport crabbers can learn more about how the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) estimates the Dungeness crab catch in Puget Sound at a series of meetings scheduled in western Washington this month.
As part of that discussion, fishery managers will talk about the importance of accurate catch reporting and the role it plays in maintaining recreational crabbing opportunities.
“It all starts with the information crabbers include on their catch record cards,” said Rich Childers, WDFW shellfish policy coordinator. “We want to let crab fishers know how we use the catch information they provide, and discuss possible improvements in the catch-accounting system.”
Six meetings have been scheduled to discuss catch accounting and other issues affecting the recreational crab harvest in Puget Sound:
- April 17 – Federal Way High School Little Theater, 30611 16th Ave. S., Federal Way, 6-9 p.m.
- April 18 – Brinnon Community Center, 306144 U.S. Highway 101, Brinnon, 6:30-9 p.m.
- April 24 – Edmonds Senior Center, 220 Railroad Ave., Edmonds, 6-9 p.m.
- April 25 – Central Kitsap High School cafeteria, 3700 NW Anderson Hill Rd., Silverdale, 6-9 p.m.
- April 27 – Carrie Blake Park, 202 Blake Ave., Sequim, 6-9 p.m.
- April 29 – Skagit PUD, 1415 Freeway Dr., Mount Vernon, 1-3 p.m.
While the meetings will focus on catch accounting, Childers said fishery managers will also answer questions about upcoming recreational Puget Sound crab seasons announced in late March.
“Crabbing seasons have been set for this year, but we’ll set aside some time at each meeting to discuss changes recreational fishers would like to see in the years ahead,” Childers said. “We don’t want to get into allocation guidelines established by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission, but other topics relevant to the fishery are up for discussion.”
Additional information about recreational crabbing in Puget Sound, including opening dates for this year’s fishery, is posted on the WDFW website (http://wdfw.wa.gov/fish/shelfish/crab/index.htm).