OLYMPIA -- The Hood Canal recreational shrimp season will open for four days
in May, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife announced today.
Shrimping will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on May 16, 20, 23 and 27.
The majority of people attending four recent public meetings to discuss four
season options preferred the Saturday and Wednesday openings scheduled. Three
other options ranged from increased daily limits and fishing hours to a full weekend
opening. The options reflected by the public would have resulted in fewer fishing days.
WDFW on May 29 may announce additional openings for the first week of June
if additional shrimp remain to be harvested.
This year's allowable catch is 161,800 pounds which must be divided equally
between Indian and non-Indian fishers, according to a federal court order. The non-
Indian 80,900-pound share is reserved for sport fishers.
Sport fishers will be limited to one shrimp pot per person. The pots must
conform to the gear specifications contained in the 1998 Fishing in Washington rules
pamphlet. The pamphlet also describes legal buoys.
Other regulations in effect this year include:
- Fishers must keep the first 80 shrimp caught. Any shrimp caught over the limit
must be returned immediately to the water. Each limit of shrimp must be kept in
a separate container. Fishers may remove the heads from their shrimp while on
- Each boat is limited to four pots. However, once a person has reached his or
her limit, another person may attach a buoy bearing his or her name and
address to the pot and continue fishing for a separate 80-shrimp limit. The boat
carrying the pots must be used to set and pull them. The pots may not be set
prior to 9 a.m. and must be pulled from the water by 1 p.m. each fishing day.
Fishers also may harvest clams and oysters on Hood Canal's public beaches
subject to regulations in the fishing pamphlet and on the shellfish hotline.
- Crab fishers may use two ring nets or two star traps, or one of each during the
Hood Canal shrimp season. Crab fishing will be allowed from one hour before
sunrise to one hour after sunset. Crab pots may not be used between April 16
and July 15.
Persons over age 14 taking shrimp, crab, clams or oysters must have a shellfish
license. The license must be displayed visibly on the clothing during harvest and
Residents aged 15 to 69 must purchase a $5 license. Residents over age 70
need a $3 license.
The 1998 Fishing in Washington rules pamphlet will be available about May 1
and contains current seasons and limits on crabs, clams and oysters. Fishers should
call the department's shellfish hotline (360) 796-3215 for updated information.