Outdoors Blog

Remaining inland waters personal use crab fishery opens Friday, Aug. 15

The catching of Dungeness crab for personal use in the waters of the U.S. portion of the Strait of Georgia (Marine Sub-Area 7 North) begins today, Friday, Aug. 15.

This zone consists of Washington's northernmost traditional crab haunts from Point Roberts through the U.S. side of Boundary Bay and down Whatcom County's western shore from Drayton Harbor to Hale Pass including Point Whitehorn, Birch Point, Cherry Point, Neptune Beach and the northeast side of Lummi Island. Offshore, the north Patos Island shelf and Alden Bank areas also may be plumbed.

All waters here that are inside Lummi Nation boundaries are closed to non-treaty fishers.   

Sub-Area 7 North will be available to crabbers Thursdays through Mondays each week until Monday, Sept. 29. The daily limits are five Dungeness and six red rock crabs. Further shell size and condition as well as gender restrictions also apply. 

Set and forget devices may be left overnight during openings but must be out of the water no later than one hour after sunset Mondays for the Tuesday and Wednesday weekly closures.

To be legal everyone age 15 and older must purchase some version of a 2014-15 Washington personal use license (fishing combo, saltwater or shellfish) in either a short or long term form together with a Puget Sound Crab Endorsement.

Every personal use crab gatherers (regardless of age or license status) also must obtain and carry a free crab catch record card on which to immediately record the legal Dungeness they retain. There are two versions of this slip, the summer (early) one used through Monday, Sept. 1 and the winter (late) one to be used any time after Labor Day through the end of the year.

All holders of PSCEs (regardless of the extent of their success) must report their effort/catches to the fish and wildlife department via an Internet portal, once in September (for the summer card) and again in January (for the winter card). A $10 civil penalty is payable in the future for failing to make this report.