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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

September 2, 2011 at 10:08 AM

Dungeness crabbing ends after Labor Day, and crabbers need to submit catch records soon after

Here is your last chance to take advantage of what has been a remarkable summer of Dungeness crab fishing throughout Puget Sound.

Most areas of Puget Sound will close to crab fishing at sunset on Labor Day, with summer catch report cards due by Oct. 1.

The only two areas that will remain open are Marine Areas 7-North and 7-South near the San Juan Islands. Sport fishers who crab in those two areas from Sept. 5-30 must record their catch on winter catch record cards.

All sport fishers licensed to fish for Dungeness crab anywhere in Puget Sound are required to submit summer catch reports.

“Catch reports play a major role in determining how much crab is still available for harvest during the winter season,” Rich Childers, a state Fish and Wildlife shellfish policy lead said in a news release. “It’s important that we receive reports from everyone licensed to fish for crab in Puget Sound – whether or not they caught crab this year.”

Childers said fisheries will announce winter crab seasons for Puget Sound in early October, after completing its assessment of the summer fishery.

Crabbers can submit catch record cards to WDFW by mail at CRC Unit, 600 Capitol Way N., Olympia, WA 98501-1091. They can also report their catch online at the state Fish and Wildlife website from Sept. 5 through Oct. 1.

Crabbers who fail to file their catch reports on time will face a $10 fine when they purchase a 2012 Puget Sound crab endorsement.

Sport crabbers who fish for Dungeness crab in any area of Puget Sound after Sept. 5 should record their catches on winter catch record cards, Childers said. Winter cards are now available at sporting good stores and other license vendors across the state.

For more information about recreational crabbing in Puget Sound, see the state Fish and Wildlife website.

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