Recent test fisheries indicate that crab in the Canal are in hard-shell condition, allowing for an early start to the season, said Rich Childers, shellfish policy lead for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
Crabbing in Hood Canal will be allowed Thursdays through Mondays each week, and will be closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The season will get under way with a one-day opening on Monday, June 15, before reopening on its weekly schedule Thursday, June 18.
The recreational crab fishing season in Hood Canal will be open through Sept. 7.
Hood Canal was originally scheduled to open July 2, when several other areas of Puget Sound open for recreational crabbing.
Currently, only one area of Puget Sound is open to crab fishing. The season got under way June 1 in Marine Area 13 (South Puget Sound).
Seasons for the Puget Sound crab fishery are posted on WDFW’s crab fishing website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/crab/. The website includes details on fishing regulations, as well as an educational video on crabbing.
The daily limit for crab fishers throughout Puget Sound is five Dungeness crab, males only, in hard-shell condition with a minimum carapace width of 6Ľ inches. Fishers may catch six red rock crab of either sex per day, provided those crab measure at least 5 inches across.
Crab fishers may not set or pull shellfish gear from a vessel from one hour after official sunset to one hour before official sunrise. All shellfish gear must be removed from the water on closed days.
Childers reminds Puget Sound crabbers that they are required to record their harvest of Dungeness crab on their catch record cards immediately after retaining crab. Separate catch record cards are issued for the summer and winter seasons.