Cotton cord can save crabs in pots

Crabbing season runs Thursdays through Mondays until Sept. 3 in waters surrounding Island County.

WSU Island County Beach Watchers encourages all crabbers to use cotton cord (rotten cotton) to secure doors of crab pots.

“Cotton cord will rot if pots are lost; derelict crab gear continues to catch, and kill, crabs for years,” said Barbara Lyon Bennett, program coordinator for WSU Beach Watchers in Island County.

“Here’s what crabbers can do to maintain an abundant and delicious supply of crab,” Bennett said, making several recommendations.

• Use rotten cotton cord (no plastic or chemical content cord) to secure doors of crab pots.

• Abide by all regulations.

• Only harvest crabs that are the minimum size.

• Do not harvest soft-shelled crabs.

• Mark pots and check water depth before dropping pots. Lost pots continue to catch and kill crabs for years.

• Report lost pots so they can be recovered by calling the derelict gear reporting hotline at 1-855-542-3935.

Look for WSU Beach Watchers at boat ramps in Island County, they will have cotton cord and copies of regulations.

“No crabs should die wastefully in derelict gear,” Bennett said.

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