Contact: Don Velasquez, 425-725-3038
Media contact: Mark Yuasa, 360-902-2262
OLYMPIA – All Puget Sound marine areas are now closed to recreational crab fishing. All sport crabbers who were issued a winter Catch Record Card (CRC) have through Feb. 1 to submit their catch reports.
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 harvest, even if they didn’t fish for or keep any crab between Sept. 5 to Dec. 31, 2023. Crabbers who obtained only the summer CRC do not need to submit a winter report.
“Reporting your Dungeness crab harvest in Puget Sound on a CRC is required and essential to track recreational harvest,” said Don Velasquez, a WDFW shellfish manager.
A total of 33,126 winter CRCs were issued, and the total number of Puget Sound crab endorsements issued was 194,628 in 2023. 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 2024 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.
This month, WDFW is conducting a survey of crabbers who fished in Marine Areas 6 or 9 to better understand and estimate the number of crabs harvested during the 2023 summer season. WDFW will email the link to the survey only to those who reported their crab catch in either of these two marine areas. If contacted, please participate as your input is important to WDFW harvest managers.
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.