Time to report summer crab catch with sport crabbing closed in much of Puget Sound; days added in Marine Area 7 North


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News release

Media contact: Ben Anderson, 360-902-0045

OLYMPIA – Most areas of Puget Sound closed to recreational crab fishing Sept. 4, which means it’s time to submit your Puget Sound Dungeness crab catch record cards (CRC).

The only two areas of the Sound still open for recreational crabbing after Labor Day are marine areas 7-North and 7-South near the San Juan Islands, and all crab caught in these two areas after Sept. 4 must be recorded on winter catch record cards.

Meanwhile, anyone licensed to fish for Dungeness crab in Puget Sound has through Oct. 1 to submit their summer catch report for crab harvested from July through Labor Day weekend to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

“Even if you didn’t harvest any Dungeness crab from Puget Sound this year, or you received a card and didn’t end up crabbing at all, reporting your catch is important and helps better evaluate and manage future crabbing opportunities,” said Katelyn Bosley, WDFW’s Puget Sound crab and shrimp lead. “Without accurate data, we have to make conservative estimates about how many crab are caught, which could impact future crabbing seasons.”

Summer catch record cards can be submitted by mail to WDFW at CRC Unit, P.O. Box 43142, Olympia, WA 98504-3142. Crabbers can also report their summer catch through WDFW’s online licensing system between Sept. 5 and Oct. 1. Crabbers who fail to file their catch reports on time face a $10 fine when purchasing a 2024 Puget Sound crab endorsement. 

With the delayed start of the recreational crab season in Marine Area 7 North this year, shellfish managers with WDFW also announced additional open days in the month of September. Marine Area 7 North will now be open seven days per week from Sept. 14 through Sept. 30.

"These extra days present a unique fall crabbing opportunity," Bosley said. “Just like during the summer season, it’s important to record and report your catch for this portion of the season on a winter catch record card."

Winter CRCs are available at hundreds of fishing license dealers around the state and are free for anyone who already holds a current Puget Sound crab endorsement.

Bosley said WDFW will announce winter crab seasons for Puget Sound this fall, after completing its assessment of the summer fishery. 

Recreational crabbers can test their skills at identifying different types of crab in Puget Sound and their understanding of regulations and best practices by taking the Puget Sound crabber knowledge quiz. For more information about recreational crabbing in Puget Sound, 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, wildlife, and recreational and commercial opportunities.

Request this information in an alternative format or language at wdfw.wa.gov/accessibility/requests-accommodation, 833-885-1012, TTY (711), or CivilRightsTeam@dfw.wa.gov.