Fish Program, 360-902-2700
Public Affairs contact: Ben Anderson, 360-902-0045
OLYMPIA – If you purchased a Puget Sound crab endorsement as part of your 2021-22 Washington state fishing license – or a license package like the Fish Washington or Get Outdoors licenses – now’s the time to report your catch for the summer season.
Puget Sound Dungeness crab catch record cards (CRC) are due by Oct. 1 for any crab caught during the summer crabbing season from July through Labor Day, Sept. 6. Even if you didn’t get out on the water or catch any crab this summer, but had a crab endorsement, reporting is required and helps shellfish managers with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) better manage Puget Sound crab populations.
Crabbers can report their catch by logging in to WDFW’s online WILD licensing system at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov/login, or by mailing their catch record card to the address printed on the card.
“We use this information to determine recreational crab harvest, which is crucial to understanding the sustainability of our crab fisheries throughout Puget Sound,” said Aaron Dufault, Puget Sound shellfish manager with WDFW. “Not reporting creates a gap in our data, which can result in fisheries that are more conservative than necessary since we then have to rely on estimates for those who don’t report.”
About half of the more than 220,000 Puget Sound crab endorsement license holders don’t submit their catch record cards by the Oct. 1 deadline, Dufault said.
Crabbers who fail to submit their catch record cards on time must pay a $10 administrative fee before they can purchase another Puget Sound crab endorsement as part of a Washington fishing or shellfishing license.
Any crab harvested Sept. 7 through Dec. 31 must be recorded on a winter catch record cards; winter CRCs are available for free at any license dealer in the state if you have a current Puget Sound crab endorsement. Visit WDFW’s website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfishing-regulations/crab for information about crabbing seasons and areas.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife works to preserve, protect, and perpetuate fish, wildlife and ecosystems while providing sustainable fish, wildlife, and recreational and commercial opportunities.