Winter crabbing to open Nov. 15 in waters off Seattle and Tacoma

News release Nov 14, 2022

Don Velasquez, 425-775-1311, ext. 112
Media contact: Ben Anderson, 360-902-0045

OLYMPIA – Recreational crab fishing will open beginning Nov. 15 in marine areas 10 (Seattle/Bremerton) and 11 (Tacoma-Vashon Island), the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today.

The openings were approved based on harvest estimated using catch record cards from the summer season and expected catch during the winter season. Crabbing is scheduled to remain open in these areas through Dec. 31, 2022.

Much of Puget Sound has been open to recreational crabbing since Oct. 1, including marine areas 4 (Neah Bay, east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line), 5 (Sekiu), 6 (eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca), 7 (San Juan Islands), 8-1 (Deception Pass, Hope Island, and Skagit Bay), 8-2 (Port Susan and Port Gardner), 9 (Admiralty Inlet), and the portion of 12 (Hood Canal) north of Ayock Point.

In each area, crabbing will be allowed seven days a week through Dec. 31. Sport crabbers are reminded that setting or pulling traps is only allowed from one hour before official sunrise through one hour after official sunset.

Marine Area 13 and the portion of Marine Area 12 (Hood Canal) south of Ayock Point will remain closed for the winter season due to continued conservation concerns in those areas.

The daily limit in Puget Sound is five Dungeness crabs, males only, in hard-shell condition with a minimum carapace width of 6 1/4 inches. Crabbers may also keep six red rock crabs of either sex per day with a minimum carapace width of 5 inches, and six Tanner crabs of either sex with a minimum carapace of 4 1/2 inches. Additional information is available on WDFW’s website.

Want to learn more about recreational crabbing in Puget Sound, or gauge how much you already know? 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 crabber knowledge quiz. Visit the WDFW recreational crabbing seasons and areas page to learn more.

You must have a Puget Sound Dungeness crab endorsement to harvest Dungeness crab from Puget Sound. All Dungeness crab caught in the late-season recreational fishery must be recorded immediately on winter catch record cards, which are valid through December 31. Winter catch record cards are free to those with crab endorsements and are available at license vendors across the state. Winter catch reports will be due to WDFW by February 1, 2023.

Reporting your catch is required and helps ensure more accurate harvest estimates and informs future crabbing seasons. Failure to do so will result in a $10 penalty on your next crab endorsement purchase. Learn more about crab catch record cards.

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.

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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Claire Young