Puget Sound Dungeness crab catch record card

Two young children with life jackets stand next to full crab pot on a boat.
Photo by David Whitmer
David Whitmer

Every Dungeness crab fisher plays a vital role in ensuring that sustainable fishing opportunities continue into the future. In addition to knowing and following the fishing rules, one of the most important responsibilities crabbers have as stewards of the resource is to comply with catch record card (CRC) requirements. 

Fishery managers rely on catch information provided by fishers to manage the Puget Sound Dungeness crab fishery and plan future seasons.

Reporting catch

CRCs must be reported online or returned to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife by mailing it to the address printed on the card. Failure to return your CRC card or report the catch online by the deadlines printed on the card will result in a $10 penalty on your next crab endorsement purchase. Cards must be reported online or returned whether or not the cardholder caught or fished for crab during the season.

Catch record card requirement

State law requires all recreational Dungeness crab fishers in the Puget Sound management area to have a Dungeness crab endorsement and a current CRC. The Puget Sound recreational crab management area includes Washington marine areas 5 through 13 and Marine Area 4 east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line.

Youth anglers under the age of 15 are not required to purchase a fishing license, however, they are required to have a Puget Sound crab endorsement and maintain a CRC. Youth anglers are issued crab endorsements and CRCs at no charge.

When properly maintained, these CRCs provide an up-to-date and ongoing account of each crabber's catch throughout a crabbing season. Sport fishers who fail to carry and maintain a CRC are subject to a citation, which carries a fine of $80.

Dungeness crab catch record cards are issued when a Puget Sound crab endorsement is obtained from any license vendor. One CRC will be valid for the summer fishing season June through Labor Day. The second CRC will be valid for a fall/winter fishing season, defined as the day after Labor Day through December 31. Winter Catch Record Cards are available at any vendor after Aug. 15 of each year.