Puget Sound winter crab catch record cards must be mailed or reported online by Feb. 1 

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Contact: Don Velasquez, 425-775-1311, ext. 112
Public Affairs contact: Mark Yuasa, 360-902-2262

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Required submission plays a key role in future crab fishery management

OLYMPIA – All Puget Sound marine areas are now closed to recreational crab fishing, and sport crabbers have through Feb. 1 to report their results for the winter season.

State fishing rules require that all sport crabbers licensed to fish for Dungeness crab in Puget Sound and Hood Canal report the results from their winter Catch Record Card (CRC) to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) even if they didn’t keep any crab.

“We had a particularly poor year of reporting in 2020, and want to continue to reverse that trend,” said Don Velasquez, a WDFW shellfish manager. “Reports are essential to managing this important fishery. They’re required for all crabbers with a winter crab Catch Record Card, whether or not they kept any crab.”

A total of 26,843 winter CRCs were issued, and the total number of Puget Sound crab endorsements was 233,108 in 2021. Overall, there was a big improvement in the CRCs reported for the 2021 summer period compared to the previous year, but still below the pre-2020 reporting rates. Since 2007, the Puget Sound recreational crab fishery has relied on Dungeness crab CRCs to help WDFW estimate the number of Dungeness crab caught and retained. The estimates from crab CRCs contribute to determining catch quotas and seasons for the various marine areas of Puget Sound.

Velasquez said new crabbers seeking to report online should be prepared to take a few extra minutes to set up an online account by creating a username, password and provide an email address. To learn more, visit our website at wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfishing-regulations/crab.

Crabbers who fail to report their CRC must pay a $10 fee before purchasing a 2022 Puget Sound crab endorsement as part of their license. The online reporting system is available at fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov/. Crabbers may also send them by mail to WDFW CRC Unit, PO Box 43142, Olympia, WA 98504-3142. Anyone who has a question can contact WDFW's Licensing Division at 360-902-2464 or licensing@dfw.wa.gov.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife works to preserve, protect and perpetuate fish, wildlife and ecosystems while providing sustainable fish and wildlife recreational and commercial opportunities.
 

Individuals who need to receive this information in an alternative format, language, or who need reasonable accommodations to participate in WDFW-sponsored public meetings or other activities may contact the Title VI/ADA Compliance Coordinator by phone at 360-902-2349, TTY (711), or email (Title6@dfw.wa.gov). For more information, see https://wdfw.wa.gov/accessibility/requests-accommodation.