Crabbing season to open early in Hood Canal — next Monday
OLYMPIA — The recreational crabbing season in Hood Canal will open next Monday, June 15, more than two weeks earlier than initially scheduled.
“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.
The crabbing season in Hood Canal will be open through Sept. 7, the department said.
Crabbing in Hood Canal will be allowed Thursdays through Mondays each week — and will be closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, the department said.
Hood Canal was originally scheduled to open July 2, when several other areas of the Puget Sound open for crabbing.
Currently, only one area of Puget Sound is open to recreational crabbing. The season got under way June 1 in South Puget Sound.
The daily limit for crabbers throughout Puget Sound is five Dungeness crab, males only, in hard-shell condition with a minimum carapace width of 6¼ inches. Crabbers may catch six red rock crab of either sex per day, provided those crab measure at least 5 inches across.
The department said crabbers 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 reminded 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.