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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

May 8, 2013 at 1:08 PM

Spot shrimp fishing holding up strong in Puget Sound and Hood Canal

SpotShrimpRyan1

The sport spot shrimp fishery in Puget Sound and Hood Canal got off to a very good start on Saturday (May 4) and Wednesday (May 8) with many pulling up their limit of tasty, prized prawn-sized shrimp.

“Catches on the opener were pretty good everywhere, and I would say it was similar to last year but more effort,” said Mark O’Toole, a state Fish and Wildlife shellfish manager who was out conducting buoys counts today in Everett area.

“It wasn’t a big as turnout (Wednesday) as Saturday, but a good crowd,” O’Toole said. “Usually there is not much of a difference from one day to the next, and maybe just a little less effort from what we saw.”

Fisheries shellfish managers will crunch the numbers on Thursday (May 9) to determine what areas will be able to have more days of fishing.

“We’ll make a decision very soon on what areas will reopen,” O’Toole said. “I think in (Marine Catch Area 8) we’ll be really close to the quota, and I think with (Area 9) we’ll be going over the quota and won’t get a third day. Elliott Bay probably won’t reopen because the catches were so good.”

“Marine Area 10 outside of Elliott Bay we’ll figure out  tomorrow, and it might get an extra day and (Area 11) might also get an extra day as well,” O’Toole said. “Down south off Bainbridge and Vashon islands the north wind (on Saturday) was bumping the shrimp guys around, and I was surprised how lumpy the water was. That might’ve kept the shrimp numbers down. I was out of Everett and there was a little north breeze, but it was fine.”

While the majority of spot shrimp anglers will abide by the rules there are those who get greedy and take advantage of a splendid fishery.

Take for example, a story on the state Fish and Wildlife enforcement Facebook page where three anglers lied about their catch, and were found to have in possession 608 spot shrimp, which is 368 over their limit.

The men will be cited with First Degree Overlimit, Failing to Submit Catch for Inspection, Providing False Information, and Failing to Separate each limit in its own container. For the full story, go to https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=529289103795371&set=a.278085895582361.68686.220381881352763&type=1&theater#!/WDFWPolice.

In all areas, the daily limit is 80 spot shrimp daily, and here are the remaining dates at this point:

Hood Canal is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on May 15, 18 and 22.

Discovery Bay is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on May 15, 18 and 22.

The Strait of Juan de Fuca east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line, and Sekiu, Port Angeles and southern Puget Sound (excluding Discovery Bay) are open daily and will closes when the quota is achieved or Sept. 15, whichever comes first. One exception is southern Puget Sound which will close for spot shrimp on May 31.

San Juan Islands east and south region are open May 15-18, May 29 — June 1.

San Juan Island western region is open Wednesday through Saturday each week through June 1. After June 1 the area will be open Thursday through Saturday each week until the quota is achieved or Sept. 15, whichever comes first.

Here are the preliminary Puget Sound spot shrimp catch estimates for the Saturday, May 4 opener, which looks to have been very good fishing. The “average” recreational boat fishes ~3.5 pots (four is the maximum) and carries ~3.3 anglers on board:

Everett/Saratoga Pass, Marine Catch Area 8 (18,000 pounds is recreational quota):

Estimated number boats shrimp fishing: 510 in 2013 and 373 in 2012.

Estimated catch per boats in pounds: 18.6 in 2013 and 18.6 in 2012.

Estimated count of spot shrimp per pound: 12.5 in 2013 and 11.5 in 2012.

Estimated catch in pounds: 9,457 in 2013 and 6,933 in 2012.

Northern Puget Sound, Marine Catch Area 9 (6,000):

Estimated number boats shrimp fishing: 283 in 2013 and 202 in 2012.

Estimated catch per boats in pounds: 16.7 in 2013 and 19.6 in 2012.

Estimated count of spot shrimp per pound: 14.6 in 2013 and 13.3 in 2012.

Estimated catch in pounds: 4,730 in 2013 and 3,971 in 2012.

Central Puget Sound, Marine Catch Area 10 (5,500):

Estimated number boats shrimp fishing: 119 in 2013 and 91 in 2012.

Estimated catch per boats in pounds: 17.4 in 2013 and 20.9 in 2012.

Estimated count of spot shrimp per pound: 12.3 in 2013 and 12.4 in 2012.

Estimated catch in pounds: 2,060 in 2013 and 1,898 in 2012.

Elliott Bay, Marine Catch Area 10 (4,500):

Estimated number boats shrimp fishing: 161 in 2013 and 116 in 2012.

Estimated catch per boats in pounds: 18.9 in 2013 and 19.3 in 2012.

Estimated count of spot shrimp per pound: 10.2 in 2013 and 10.8 in 2012.

Estimated catch in pounds: 3,041 in 2013 and 2,241 in 2012.

South central Puget Sound, Marine Catch Area 11 (2,500):

Estimated number boats shrimp fishing: 87 in 2013 and 85 in 2012.

Estimated catch per boats in pounds: 10.6 in 2013 and 8.1 in 2012.

Estimated count of spot shrimp per pound: 12.9 in 2013 and 16.4 in 2012.

Estimated catch in pounds: 917 in 2013 and 685 in 2012.

Hood Canal, Marine Catch Area 12 (95,000):

Estimated number boats shrimp fishing: 1,722 in 2013 and 1,510 in 2012.

Estimated catch per boats in pounds: 18.0 in 2013 and 17.8 in 2012.

Estimated count of spot shrimp per pound: 13.9 in 2013 and 14.1 in 2012.

Estimated catch in pounds: 31,005 in 2013 and 26,889 in 2012.

Discovery Bay Shrimp District (2,000):

Estimated number boats shrimp fishing: 79 in 2013 and 50 in 2012.

Estimated catch per boats in pounds: 12.5 in 2013 and 10.2 in 2012.

Estimated count of spot shrimp per pound: 16.6 in 2013 and 17.4 in 2012.

Estimated catch in pounds: 987 in 2013 and 505 in 2012.

San Juan Island East and West, Marine Catch Areas 7 (40,500):

Estimated number boats shrimp fishing: 183 in 2013 and 107 in 2012.

Estimated catch per boats in pounds: 10.4 in 2013 and 4.4 in 2012.

Estimated count of spot shrimp per pound: 11.6 in 2013 and 11.7 in 2012.

Estimated catch in pounds: 1,912 in 2013 and 470 in 2012.

San Juan Island South, Marine Catch Areas 7 (13,000):

Estimated number boats shrimp fishing: 98 in 2013 and 92 in 2012.

Estimated catch per boats in pounds: 10.8 in 2013 and 9.9 in 2012.

Estimated count of spot shrimp per pound: 11.5 in 2013 and 12.6 in 2012.

Estimated catch in pounds: 1,056 in 2013 and 914 in 2012.

For more information on the spot shrimp fisheries, go to http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/shrimp/.

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