Most of Puget Sound reopened for winter crab fishing

If you didn’t get enough Dungeness over the summer, you now have another chance to head out with the crab traps.

Most marine areas of Puget Sound reopened for recreational crab fishing on Saturday, including marine areas 4 (Neah Bay), 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), 12 (Hood Canal) and 13 (South Puget Sound).

Crabbing is allowed in all areas seven days a week through Dec. 31.

However, sport crabbing isn’t reopening this year in marine areas 10 (Seattle and Bremerton) and 11 (Tacoma and Vashon Island). The annual quotas in both areas were reached during the summer fishery, said Rich Childers, shellfish policy coordinator for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The daily catch limit in Puget Sound is five male Dungeness crab in hard-shell condition with a minimum carapace width of 6.25 inches. Additionally, fishers are allowed six red rock crab of either sex daily measuring at least five inches across.

All crab caught during the winter fishery must be recorded on winter catch cards, free to those with crab endorsements. The cards are available at license vendors across Washington.

Winter catch reports are due to WDFW by Feb. 1, 2013. Additional information is available here.

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