OLYMPIA, Wash. - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today that two marine areas in south Puget Sound will not be open for crab fishing this summer to allow Dungeness crab populations to rebuild.
Recreational crab fisheries will remain closed in marine areas 11 (Tacoma/Vashon Island) and 13 (south Puget Sound) this summer. Tribal commercial crab fisheries also will not open in those areas this year.
State and tribal co-managers are developing crabbing seasons for the rest of Puget Sound and plan to announce those later this month.
"We are still working on setting crab seasons but wanted to give people early notice about these closures, which is a change from previous years," said Bob Sizemore, Puget Sound shellfish managers for WDFW.
Sizemore said the department will continue working to structure fisheries in each Puget Sound region, but he does not anticipate closures similar to those in marine areas 11 and 13.
"We are taking this step to protect crab in these areas and allow the populations to rebuild," said Sizemore.
The department will post Puget Sound recreational seasons on its crab-fishing website, where information on fishing regulations as well as an educational video on crabbing can be found.
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