OLYMPIA–Recreational crab gear in Hood Canal that is not legally marked will be subject to confiscation by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife enforcement officers beginning Sept. 15.
Crab gear inspection by the enforcement officers is part of an effort by the state and treaty tribes to ensure all crab buoys are in compliance with gear marking requirements.
As noted on page 51 of the Fishing in Washington regulation pamphlet, every unattended shellfish pot, ring net or star trap must have its own buoy line and separate buoy that is permanently and legibly marked with the owner's first and last name and address. Buoys must be weighted sufficiently to prevent the line from floating on the surface.
Recreational buoys also must be half red and half white. Both colors should be displayed when in floating position. The buoys also should be constructed of durable material and should be visible on the surface at all times (except during extreme tidal conditions).
The effort to ensure gear is legally marked will assist the department in managing the crab fishery properly while providing safe and orderly fisheries.