Puget Sound winter crab catch record card due Feb. 1

News release

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

OLYMPIA – All Puget Sound marine areas are now closed to recreational crab fishing, and sport crabbers who chose to pick up a winter Catch Record Card (CRC) have through Feb. 1 to submit their results. 

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) fishing rules require all recreational crabbers licensed to fish for Dungeness crab in Puget Sound and Hood Canal to report their winter CRC results, even if they didn’t keep any crab or if they attempted to go crabbing between Sept. 6 to Dec. 31, 2022. Crabbers who obtained only the summer CRC do not need to submit a winter report. 

“Increasing the current percentage of CRCs that are reported is crucial to having accurate catch estimates,” said Don Velasquez, a WDFW shellfish manager. 

A total of 37,900 winter CRCs were issued, and the total number of Puget Sound crab endorsements was 221,150 in 2022. Since 2007, the Puget Sound recreational crab fishery has relied on CRCs to estimate the number of Dungeness crab caught and kept. Estimates from CRCs contribute to determining catch quotas and seasons for the various marine areas of Puget Sound. 

Crabbers who fail to report their CRC must pay a $10 fee before buying a 2023 Puget Sound crab endorsement as part of their license. 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. The online reporting system is available in the WILD System. Crabbers may also send them by mail to WDFW CRC Unit, PO Box 43142, Olympia, WA 98504-3142. Anyone who has a question on returning their CRC can email WDFW's Licensing Division or call 360-902-2464. 

WDFW is also conducting a survey through Jan. 30 of crab fishers to better understand and estimate the number of crabs harvested in Puget Sound during the summer season between July 1 and Sept. 5, 2022. WDFW has contracted a research firm that specializes in conducting surveys and will be contacting crabbers by email, phone, and text to participate in the survey. If contacted please consider participating, your input is extremely important to us. To learn more, visit WDFW’s website.

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.

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David Whitmer