WDFW Eyes Area 11 Crab Reopener This Summer

The start of a tribal Dungeness fishery off Tacoma today is a potential good sign for sporties who haven’t been able to crab in these waters for two summers.

WDFW Puget Sound shellfish manager Katelyn Bosley says that test fishing found enough of the crabs to support limited fisheries, and while a final decision hasn’t been made on how the recreational season will be structured, she says the shape could be similar to last year’s shortened opener on Marine Area 10 to the north, with an opener “likely” during the first week of July.

SOUTH SOUND CRABBERS SHOULD BE BACK ON TACOMA WATERS THIS SUMMER. THIS LITTLE GUY CAUGHT HIS DUNGIE TO THE NORTH, OFF ANACORTES. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

It would also have the same quota as Puyallup tribal crabbers are operating under, 37,500 pounds.

“At this time, we have not made any decisions but the Marine Area 11 fishery will likely be a limited number of days, either a shortened overall timeframe, reduced number of days per week or both. Right now these details are uncertain,” Bosley said this afternoon.

Sport and tribal crabbing in Area 11 as well as 13 to the south was closed beginning in 2018 due to low numbers of Dungeness, though red rock populations were more robust.

Last year Area 10 had a July 4-Aug. 3/Thurs.-Mon. sport season instead of running through Sept. 2 like elsewhere in Puget Sound due to a quota overage in the waters off Seattle the year before.