The spot shrimp madness continued this morning (Wednesday, May 7) with boats lined out of the parking at the Edmonds Marina taking advantage of the great weather and what will likely be good catches of the tasty prawn-sized shrimp.
The Saturday (May 3) opener was good in places and others anglers had to struggle with the bad weather.
“Obviously some places the catches were a little up, and some places down, and the weather was definitely an influence,” said Mark O’Toole, the state Fish and Wildlife regional shellfish manager.
“It was pretty rough in Area 9 (northern Puget Sound) took the worst of it, and to a lesser extent was Areas 8-1 and 8-2 (the east side of Whidbey Island),” O’Toole said. “When you look at the number of boats in Area 9 it was down considerably from the last couple of openers. Oddly enough once you got north of Oak Harbor and south of Edmonds it got much nicer.”
While the weather played a slight role in 8-1 and 8-2, O’Toole says they saw almost as much shrimp gear in the water as they did last season.
“Even though we had all that gear in the water, the spot shrimp catch was down about 40 percent,” O’Toole said. “That was puzzling since the (preseason) test fishing seemed to be pretty good in Area 8. The participation was down in Area 9, but the catches for those who did get out was OK.”
“We might get an extra day of fishing in Area 8, but we’ll see after (Wednesday’s opener),” O’Toole said. “We’ll also know more about central Puget Sound after (Wednesday), but we’re probably not looking at extra days for Central Sound,” he said.
For a rundown on how the spot shrimp opener went, go to http://blogs.seattletimes.com/reeltimenorthwest/2014/05/06/despite-stormy-weather-saturdays-spot-shrimp-opener-generates-good-catches/.
Here is a breakdown of the sport spot shrimp fishing seasons:
Hood Canal Shrimp District (Marine Area 12): Open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on May 10 and 21.
Discovery Bay Shrimp District (Marine Area 6): Open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on May 10 and 21.
Neah Bay, eastern Strait of Juan De Fuca and southern Puget Sound (Marine Areas 4 east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line, 5, 6 and 13, excluding Discovery Bay Shrimp District): Open daily and will close when the quota is attained or Sept. 15, whichever comes first. The exception is Marine Area 13, which closes for spot shrimp May 31.
San Juan Islands (Marine Area 7 East, South and West): Open May 7-10, May 21-24 and May 28-31. In Marine Area 7 West only, the season will be open daily beginning June 1 until the quota is reached or Sept. 15, whichever comes first.
South-central Puget Sound (Marine Area 11: Open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on May 10.
In areas 4, 5, 6, 7 (East, South and West) and 13, start times will be one hour before sunrise.
For more information, go to http://wdfw.wa.gov/news/mar2814d/.