Late-season crabbing opens in Whidbey waters

Crabbers can once again hit the waters surrounding Whidbey with the opening of the winter season.

Fishery managers from Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife approved late-season crabbing in several marine areas in Puget Sound. The reopened areas include the waters surrounding Whidbey Island.

The season opened at 8 a.m. this past Saturday. Crabbing will be allowed seven days a week through Dec. 31, according to a press release from the recreation agency.

The decision comes after fishery managers wrapped up summer catch assessments, which indicated select Puget Sound waters have more crab to harvest. Sport crabbing will not reopen in Seattle-Bremerton, Vashon Island, Hood Canal or South Puget Sound. It also won’t be allowed in Marine Area 9 from the Port Ludlow area and south.

The daily catch limit is five hard shell Dungeness crab with a minimum carapace width of 6.25 inches. Anglers can only retain males. Crabbers can also catch six red rock crab of either sex per day with a minimum carapace width of 5 inches.

Dungeness crab catches must be noted on winter catch record cards.

Visit http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/crab/ for more information on rules and regulations.

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