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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

October 9, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Dungeness crab fishery begins this Saturday, and the outlook should be good

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The Puget Sound Dungeness crab fishery is set to begin this Saturday (Oct. 13) at 8 a.m., and state fisheries managers are saying the summer season was actually quite good although turnout didn’t live up to expectations.

“There were good crab catches in all regions, but maybe not as much as last summer (in 2011),” said Rich Childers, a state Fish and Wildlife crab manager. “We haven’t gotten all the data finalized yet (about 20,000 crab cards still need to be tallied), but we do know that participation was down this summer.”

The winter crab fishery will be open daily through Dec. 31 in most of Puget Sound and Hood Canal except closed in central Puget Sound (Marine Catch Area 10) and south central Puget Sound (11).

“Clearly in Areas 10 and 11 we’ve taken the entire quota allowed,” Childers said.

One of the frustrating things Childers says is the lack of crabbers turning in their mandatory catch record cards.

“We’ve only got about 54 percent of the summer catch cards returned to us, and we’d like to be right around 70 percent, which is quite disappointing,” Childers said.

Crabbers that don’t file catch reports by the deadline face a $10 fine when they purchase a 2013 Puget Sound crab endorsement.

The crabbing rules in the regulation pamphlet will apply during the fall and winter fisheries.

(Photo by Mark Yuasa)

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