Winter crabbing wraps soon across Washington

Recreational winter crabbing in Puget Sound will end the evening of Dec. 31.

All licensed winter season crabbers have until Feb. 1 to report their catch. State fishing rules from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife requires all sport crabbers to submit catch reports, whether they caught 100 crabs or zero.

“By submitting their catch data, crabbers play an important role in managing the Puget Sound crab fishery,” said Rich Childers, the shellfish policy lead for Fish and Wildlife. “We need to hear from everyone who was issued a winter catch card, including from those who didn’t catch any crab.”

Should sport crabbers fail to submit a winter catch report, they will be fined $10 when they purchase a 2013 crab endorsement.

To submit catch reports, crabbers may send their catch record card to WDFW by mail or file their report on a special website on the department’s licensing website.

The mailing address is WDFW CRC Unit, 600 Capitol Way N., Olympia, WA 98501-1091.

The online reporting system will be available Jan. 1-Feb. 1 at

Puget Sound marine areas will be closed to recreational crabbing until next summer.

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