All recreational crabbing closed
On Monday the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
(WDFW) shut down all crab harvesting in all waters in Puget
Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Again this year the
closure is a ban on all crab harvesting, not just pots.
Ring traps and hand harvesting are also prohibited.
Morris Barker, WDFW marine resources manager, said the closure is necessary to protect crab during the molting season when they are in soft-shelled condition. By mid-April, Dungeness crab in most areas of Puget Sound have soft shells, although the molt begins earlier in Hood Canal and a number of other areas where crab fishing has been closed for a month or more. Crab fishing has been good this year, with record-high catches in Hood Canal, central Puget Sound and northern Puget Sound, Barker said. Protecting the crab now, when theyre most vulnerable, we can help sustain the resource in future years.
Waters affected by the April 15 closure include the Strait of Juan de Fuca (Marine Areas 4, 5 and 6), those waters not yet closed north of the San Juan Islands (Area 7), and southern Puget Sound from Olympia to the northern tip of Vashon Island (Areas 11 and 13).
For details on upcoming fishing seasons and regulations, check the toll-free shellfish hotline at (866) 880-5431 or the fishing section at http://www.wa.gov/wdfw/