Fish Program, 360-902-2700
OLYMPIA – With the 2022 summer crabbing season behind us, there’s one last item to cross off the end-of-season checklists: submitting Puget Sound Dungeness crab catch record cards (CRC).
Anyone who purchased a Puget Sound crab endorsement with their 2022-23 Washington state fishing license – or a license package like the Fish Washington or Get Outdoors licenses – now has until Oct. 1 to submit their catch record card, even if they didn’t fish for or catch any crab this summer.
The summer season began in July and ran through Labor Day, Sept. 5. Whether you caught crab or not, reporting is required and helps shellfish managers with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) better manage Puget Sound crab populations.
More than half of the 225,000 crabbers who purchased an endorsement in 2021 failed to report their catch by the Oct. 1 deadline. Contrary to what some may believe, not reporting actually hurts prospects for future crabbing, according to Aaron Dufault, Puget Sound shellfish manager with WDFW.
“We know some people may get a crab endorsement when they buy their license, but never end up going crabbing or simply forget to report at the end of the season,” said Aaron Dufault, Puget Sound shellfish manager with WDFW. “When that happens, we have to take a conservative approach to fill in those gaps, and assume that person caught some crab, whether they only got out on the water once or not at all.”
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.
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 future license.
For the winter season – Sept. 6 through Dec. 31 – all crab caught must be recorded on a winter catch record card; 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.