The 2014 personal use (recreational) shrimp fishery will start in all Puget Sound management areas (Marine Areas 4 East to 13) Thursday, May 3 per a Friday, March 28 announcement by state shellfish managers.
The duration of May openings in each marine area or subarea (two days to 31 days) vary according to the quota or amount of spot shrimp allocated to a zone's recreational fishery.
Waters of Marine Area 7 (including sub-areas 7 East, 7 South and 7 West) off Whatcom and Skagit counties will open on a total of 13 days including May 3, 7-10, 21-24 and 28-31, which coincide with the best pot-setting tides.
State shellfish managers say that sub-area 7 West will then automatically re-open June 1 seven days a week until its expanded prawn quota is landed by sport fishers or Sept. 15, whichever comes first.
They also advise that if a significant portion a quota remains in any given marine area after the initial allotted time in May, additional opens for those areas will be set and announced several days in advance of their extensions.
By rule, personal use shrimp fishers may set a maximum of two pots (a maximum of four pots are allowed per boat) and they may retain an 80 count total of spot shrimp or prawns per day. Appropriately colored buoy's must be marked, pots must have certain sized mesh and pot lines must be sufficiently long and weighted.
Shrimp may be legally fished for with either a combination, saltwater and shellfish/seaweed 2014 license.
For shrimp season updates, area boundaries and rules for harvesting other shrimp species log onto: http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/shrimp/.