OLYMPIA -- The Hood Canal recreational shrimp season will open for two
consecutive Saturdays and Wednesdays beginning May 17, the Washington
Department of Fish and Wildlife announced today.
Shrimping will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on May 17, 21, 24 and 28.
The majority of people attending two recent public meetings to discuss two
season options preferred the Saturday and Wednesday openings over a series of
Saturday-only openings which would have provided fewer fishing days.
The department on May 30 may announce additional openings in early June if
additional shrimp remain to be harvested.
This year's allowable catch is 183,000 pounds which must be divided equally
between Indian and non-Indian fishers, according to a federal court order. The non-
Indian 91,500-pound share is reserved for recreational fishers.
Sport fishers will be limited to one shrimp pot per person. The pots must conform
to the gear specifications contained in the 1997 Fishing in Washington rules pamphlet.
The pamphlet also describes legal buoys. The pamphlet is available at all Department
of Fish and Wildlife offices and at stores which sell fishing and hunting licenses.
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. The containers may be stored together. Fishers may remove the
heads from their shrimp while on the water.
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.
- 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 legal fishing day.
Fishers also may harvest clams and oysters on Hood Canal's public beaches
subject to regulation in the fishing pamphlet and on the shellfish hotline.
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. An annual non-resident license is $20 but a non-resident three-day
license is only $5.
The 1997 Fishing in Washington rules pamphlet contains current seasons and
limits. Fishers should call the department's shellfish hotline (360) 796-3215 for updated