Puget Sound areas will close for recreational winter crabbing at 5 p.m. Dec. 31.
Sports crabbers are required to report their winter catch by Feb. 1 or will be fined $10 — even if no crab were kept.
“By submitting their catch data, crabbers plan an important role in managing the Puget Sound crab fishery,” said Rich Childers, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife shellfish policy lead, in a news release. “We need to hear from everyone who was issued a winter catch card, including those who didn’t keep any crab.”
All Dungeness crab kept in the late-season fishery must be recorded on winter catch cards, which are valid through Dec. 31. Winter cards were free to those with crab endorsements.
Catch reports may be submitted online between Jan. 1 and Feb. 1 at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov/wdfw/puget_sound_crab_catch.html or mailed to WDFW CRC Unit, 600 Capitol Way N., Olympia, WA 98501-1091.
All Puget Sound marine areas will be closed to recreational crabbing until summer.